We will be introducing a new Tomato allergy character in August 2012 for use with the "I Have Multiple Allergies" wristband...see
Tomatoes in particular contain a high degree of a natural chemical known as salicylate which is related to aspirin and is a derivative of salicylic acid. Some people can not tolerate any amount of salicylate in their diet.
One cause of allergic reactions to tomatoes can be due to these salicylates. It is important to differentiate between food intolerance and food allergy only in that a full allergy can be fatal whereas intolerance is not. Some people may say that intolerance will present with just mild symptoms, although some sufferers will disagree. Symptoms can include very painful cramps and abdominal contractions, often followed by diarrhea both of which can last for many hours following consumption disrupting your normal daily routine. As the symptoms are not life threatening, the medical profession often regard them as mild and tend to disregard them altogether leaving the sufferer to fend for themselves. Immediate tomato allergy can be fatal at times causing anaphylactic shock. Symptoms of immediate allergy include tingling lips, swelling face, urticaria (hives), tightening of the chest, difficulty breathing etc.
Tomato allergy can occur in different ways among different people. Some are only allergic to raw tomatoes while others are also allergic to tomatoes in processed food like canned tomato, jam, sauce, pickle, etc.
- Tomatoes were first brought to Europe from Mexico by Cortez and were first cultivated for food in Naples. The British regarded them as poisonous until the 1700s. They contain a powerful form of Solanine called Tomatine which is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.
So what is solanine, the active alkaloid in nightshades? What are its effects?
WHAT ARE ACETYLCHOLINESTERASE INHIBITORS?
• The chemical that transmits nerve impulses from one nerve ending to the next is acetylcholine – once it has transmitted a nerve impulse it has done its job and is no longer needed so it is broken down by an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase and recycled.
• Solanine (or tomatine from tomatoes) slows the production of this acetylcholinesterase, so acetylcholine isn’t broken down as fast as it’s being produced.
• Acetylcholine builds up causing a ‘traffic jam’ of stimulation at the receptor nerve endings.
• The nerve endings become overstimulated.
• This overstimulation can lead to muscle weakness, muscle twitching, hypertension, increased intestinal contractions (causing pain, physical discomfort and diarrhea) and increased secretions of tear, sweat, saliva, gastric and intestinal glands.
• All nightshade foods contain solanine, a strong acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. This is what makes excessive consumption of nightshade foods unsuitable for many people.
Certain pesticides, particularly organophosphate and carbamates, work as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, achieving the same effect as solanine.
For a diet that seeks to maintain a strong and healthy nervous and neuromuscular system there is considerable evidence that the safest approach is to avoid nightshade vegetables and to eat food that is grown without the use of carbamate or organophosphate pesticides, i.e. organic food.
Before the discovery of chemical pesticides, nicotine was a widely used insecticide. It kills insects in the same way, but chemical sprays are cheaper and longer lasting.
Until they were replaced by hormones and antibiotics, organophosphate pesticides were also used by livestock farmers as growth-promoters – the mechanism whereby they cause muscle weakness and increase secretions of digestive fluids also causes animals to exercise less and eat more, thereby fattening them up more quickly.