Background: Cultivated buckwheat include two species originating from China: common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum
) and tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tartaricum
). Buckwheat can cause IgE-mediated allergy, including severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. Exposure can occure when eating buckwheat food (food allergen), when producing or handling buckwheat food (occupational exposure) or when sleeping on buckwheat husk pillows (houeshold environmental exposure). Methods: A search on buckwheat allergy in the medical datbase PubMed from 1970–2020. Result: A number of allergenic proteins have been identified in common buckwheat (e.g., Fag e 1, Fag e 2 and Fag e 3) and in tartary buckwheat (e.g., Fag t 1, Fag t 2, Fag t 3). Clinically relevant cross-reactivity has been described between buckwheat and peanut, latex, coconut, quinoa, and poppy seed. The prevalence of buckwheat allergy in the population can be estimated as 0.1–0.4% in Japan, Korea and buckwheat consuming areas of China. Among patients in allergy clinics in different countries, 2–7% has confirmed buckwheat allergy. School studies from Japan and Korea found 4–60 cases of buckwheat-related anaphylaxis per 100,000 school children. The incidence of severe allergic reactions to buckwheat, including anaphylaxis, can be estimated as 0.1–0.01 cases per 100,000 person-years. Conclusions: Buckwheat allergy is a neglected allegy deserving further attention but severe allergic reactions are rare.
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