Food additive challenge testing

Occasionally, people with chronic hives or asthma find that their symptoms worsen after eating.  While allergy testing may reveal that the person is allergic to a specific food, such as peanuts, frequently all allergy testing is negative.   In these cases, we seek to determine whether a food additive may have caused the reaction to the food.  Food additives are chemicals added to foods and usually serve as colorings, preservatives or flavor enhancers.  Two important examples are monosodium glutatmate (MSG), which acts to improve food flavor and has been reported to occasionally cause hives and asthma.  Sulfites (including sodium and potassium metabisulfite and sulfur dioxide) are agents which help maintain the fresh appearance of certain foods, such as lettuce in salad bars and seafood.  Again, sulfites have been implicated in cases of hives and asthma.  Unfortunately, there are no accurate blood tests or skin tests to diagnose someone with sensitivity to additives.  The only reliable method for assessing additive sensitivity is oral challenge with the suspected chemical substance, such sulfite.  The physicians at Allergy Medical Clinic have an extensive experience with oral food additive challenges and are one of the few practices in  Los Angeles capable of performing this test.

Jonathan Corren, MD

Jonathon Corren, MDDr. Jonathan Corren was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with honors in Biology and then completed his medical training at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.

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Los Angeles Allergy Doctors

What We Treat

  • Seasonal and year-around nasal allergies
  • Asthma
  • Food allergy
  • Medication allergy
  • Allergy to insect stings
  • Hives
  • Eczema
  • Recurrent or chronic sinus, ear, and bronchial infections