is a type of food allergy
. "Soy allergy" (U.S.
) or Soya allergy
) is one of the most common food allergies
. It is a hypersensitivity to dietary
substances from soy
causing an overreaction of the immune system which may lead to severe physical symptoms for millions of people. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
estimates soy is among the nine most common food allergens for pediatric and adult food allergy patients. It is usually treated with an exclusion diet
and vigilant avoidance of foods that may be contaminated with soy ingredients. The most severe food allergy reaction is called anaphylaxis
and is a medical emergency
requiring immediate attention and treatment with Epinephrine
Those allergic to soy protein should always read food ingredient labels carefully and avoid any foods containing soybean, including the substances listed below. Caution should be exercised when dining at Asian restaurants or when using Asian sauces, which may contain soy.
Reactions and Treatment
Some people who are allergic to soy protein may have an extreme allergic reaction and go into anaphylactic shock
(anaphylaxis). In cases of anaphylaxis, emergency medical personnel typically administer epinephrine
(available as an autoinjector
, such as EpiPen
) and an antihistamine
such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine
). In event of an allergic reaction
, the victim should see a physician or immediately go to the emergency room, as anaphylaxis can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Soy allergy can also manifest itself as urticaria, rash, redness (inflammation due to immune system response) and severe itching of the skin. These symptoms can happen immediately, but may also manifest a day (or even days) after consuming soy protein.
Food sources of soy protein
Many fast-food restaurants
commonly use soy protein in hamburger buns (soy flour) hamburger meat (soy protein) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein
(HVP) in sauces. On their respective web sites, McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's list soy flour as an ingredient in their hamburger buns. U.S. Nutrition Information Multi-grain breads, doughnuts, doughnut mix and pancake mix commonly contain soy flour. Canned tuna may contain vegetable broth which contains soy protein.
Some products [for reasons having to do with national regulation of soy products] don't list soy protein or soy flour on their ingredients labels, yet they still contain soy. There are still many latent issues resolving how soy should be regulated.
Products containing soy protein include:
The following food additives may contain soy protein:
- hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
- flavoring (including natural and artificial)
- canned chicken broth
- vegetable broth, gum, and starch
- bouillon cubes (beef, chicken, vegetable, etc.)
Many people with soy allergy can tolerate small to moderate amounts of soy protein: the typical dose needed to induce an allergic response is about 100 times higher than for many other food allergins, with 90% of sufferers being able to tolerate doses up to 400mg. As a result, not all of those allergic to soy need to avoid very minor sources of soy protein such as soy oil or soy lecithin.