Substance Info: (and synonyms)

Background Info:

Buckwheat is grown almost worldwide, but is especially common in China and Iraq. Its original habitat is obscure. It is a member of the Polygonaceae group of weeds. (Wodehouse 1971 ref.440 34) In China another type of Buckwheat, Tartary Buckwheat (Fagopyrum tartaricum) is grown and consumed. (Wieslander 2001 ref.4302 6). Buckwheat is largely consumed in Asian countries, in particular in Japan, where it is a major food allergen due to the large consumption of Soba (buckwheat noodles).

Buckwheat is a large-leafed, herbaceous species and not a grass, and thus not a true cereal. The only other common food plant in this family is rhubarb. Buckwheat grows to 1.5m at a fast rate. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The scented flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by bees and flies. A very good green manure plant, it can be used to reclaim badly degraded soils and sub-soils. There is a variety of cultivars.

Buckwheat is useful as a substitute for wheat and other small grains (rice, barley, oats, rye), in particular as an alternative to people allergic to wheat.

Buckwheat grows in cultivated beds and, where it has escaped from cultivation, on waste ground. Buckwheat ground flour is used for bread and other baked products. The seed is processed to make noodles (termed 'soba' in Japan) and is used in soups, cakes, biscuits, etc. The grain can produce edible sprouts and excellent beer. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach. Buckwheat is high in fibre and has high levels of minerals, vitamins and essential amino acids, especially lysine. It also contains rutin, which is believed to improve cardiovascular health by dilating the blood vessels, reducing capillary permeability, and lowering blood pressure.

Buckwheat is used internally in the treatment of high blood pressure, gout, varicose veins, chilblains, radiation damage, etc. It is best used in conjunction with vitamin C, since this aids absorption. Often combined with lime flowers (Tilia species), it is a specific treatment for haemorrhage into the retina. A poultice made from the seeds has been used for restoring the flow of milk in nursing mothers. An infusion of the herb has been a treatment of erysipelas (an acute infectious skin disease). A homeopathic remedy has been made from the leaves and used in the treatment of eczema and liver disorders.

The hulls of buckwheat are used as cushion fillings in some Asian countries. A blue dye is obtained from the stems, while a brown dye is obtained from the flowers.

Buckwheat dust is round in shape and varies from 1 - 7 um/L, which can easily penetrate dust mite encasings which usually have a pore size of 10 um/L. (Fritz 2003 ref.7756 5)


Adverse Reactions:


[ 1 / 38 ]

A discussion of the principal aspects of allergy to buckwheat, an emerging food allergen, with a reactive threshold often very low. The symptoms of this allergy, often severe, appear after ingestion but also after its inhalation. Other lessons taken from this pediatric case include the perfect management of the anaphylaxis by the pediatric emergency service, the importance of close communication between the patient's parents and the specialist via the Internet. (Bidat 2013 ref.29402 3)

Bidat E, G. Dutau Anaphylaxie à un allergène émergent masqué : aide du courriel / Anaphylaxis to an emerging masked allergen: using email Rev Fr Allergol 2013;53(6):537-541

[ 2 / 38 ]

Buckwheat allergy is a rare food allergy in Europe and North America, whereas it is often described and studied in Asia. The aim of this study was to describe a series of patients with proven buckwheat allergy evaluated in an Italian allergy clinic. Among 72 patients with suspected buckwheat allergy, 30 (41.7%) were sensitized to buckwheat and 24 had a positive DBPCFC. The mean buckwheat IgE level was 6.23 kUA/l (range, 0.16 to >100 kUA/l). Several IgE-binding proteins were identified and grouped into three patterns: a 16-kDa band in patients with predominantly gastrointestinal symptoms with grass and wheat flour co-sensitization, a 25-kDa band in patients with predominantly cutaneous symptoms and a low frequency of co-sensitization, and a 40-kDa band in patients with anaphylaxis and a low frequency of co-sensitization. (Heffler 2011 ref.25842 0)

Heffler E, Nebiolo F, Asero R, Guida G, Badiu I, Pizzimenti S, Marchese C, Amato S, Mistrello G, Canaletti F, Rolla G. Clinical manifestations, co-sensitizations, and immunoblotting profiles of buckwheat-allergic patients. Allergy 2011 Feb;66(2):264-270

[ 3 / 38 ]

A young woman had an anaphylactic shock after entering a pancake restaurant… but before consuming any food or drink! Allergologic testing showed dust mites and buckwheat sensitization. Clinical history and allergologic tests incriminated airborne buckwheat allergens for the anaphylactic reaction. The patient sera reacted against a 2S albumin, a buckwheat major allergen, as against a 13S globulin, that could be implicated in this reaction. (Mittaine 2008 ref.21488 6)

Mittaine M, Sordet C, Culerrier R, Barre A, Rouge P, Didier A. Anaphylaxie au sarrasin par voie inhalée / Buckwheat anaphylaxis by inhalation Revue francaise d allergologie 2008;48(2):106-108

[ 4 / 38 ]

A 20-year-old woman developed anaphylaxis after eating pizza on 4 different occasions in 2 restaurants. Both restaurants made their pizza dough with a mixture of wheat and buckwheat flours. A prick-to-prick test with buckwheat flour was positive. Skin prick tests and specific immunoglobulin E responses to soybean and peanut were weakly positive while the response to buckwheat was negative. Double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges with buckwheat flour were positive after the administration of a cumulative dose of 2.3 g of the culprit flour. (Heffler 2007 ref.22099 7)

Heffler E, Guida G, Badiu I, Nebiolo F, Rolla G. Anaphylaxis after eating Italian pizza containing buckwheat as the hidden food allergen. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007;17(4):261-3

[ 5 / 38 ]

In this study, the cDNA of the 19-kD buckwheat allergen was cloned and expressed. 18 BW-allergic and 19 BW-asymptomatic sensitized subjects were evaluated. Four allergy patients were diagnosed as having BW allergies by DBPCFC, and the other 14 patients complained of allergy symptoms such as urticaria (n=18), angioedema, dyspnea (n=14) and abdominal pain (n=3), immediately after eating BW noodles or jellies.The 14 patients did not undergo DBPCFC because their symptoms were too serious to be justified for the test. BW-asymptomatic sensitized subjects did not complain of any symptoms after ingestion of BW even though they had a positive skin prick test. (Choi 2007 ref.20269 9)

Choi SY, Sohn JH, Lee YW, Lee EK, Hong CS, Park JW. Characterization of buckwheat 19-kD allergen and Its application for diagnosing clinical reactivity. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2007 Jul 20;144(4):267-274

[ 6 / 38 ]

This study evaluated whether cosensitization with buckwheat has an effect on the production of house dust mite-IgE. The authors postulate that the cosensitization with buckwheat may down-regulate the specific IgE response to house dust mite. (Shin 2007 ref.20171 5)

Shin YH, Sohn MH, Oh S, Lee KE, Yong TS, Park JW, Hong CS, Kim KE, Lee SY. Effect of cosensitization with buckwheat flour extract on the production of house dust mite-specific IgE. J Korean Med Sci 2007 Apr;22(2):198-204

[ 7 / 38 ]

IgE-mediated hypersensitivity to buckwheat is common in Korea, Japan, and some other Asian countries. However, buckwheat is not a common allergen in Taiwan. A report on a woman with asthma who had anaphylactic shock, generalized urticaria, and an acute exacerbation of asthma five minutes after ingesting buckwheat. The patient had a strongly positive skin prick test response to buckwheat and positive reactions to Dp and latex. Specific IgE results were class 6 for buckwheat, class 4 for Dp and Df, and class 2 for dog dander, wheat, sesame and soybean. Results of an open food challenge with white sesame and soybean were negative. (Wang 2006 ref.16086 9)

Wang TC, Shyur SD, Wen DC, Kao YH, Huang LH. Buckwheat anaphylaxis: an unusual allergen in Taiwan. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol 2006 Jun;24167-170

[ 8 / 38 ]

Buckwheat, which has been abundantly consumed in Asian countries and has been increasingly popular in the United States, Canada, and Europe, can be a potent allergen when ingested or inhaled. A 36-year-old man is described who experienced nausea, vomiting, urticaria, a sensation of throat closing, inability to speak, dyspnea, and dizziness shortly after ingesting a large portion of buckwheat. In the previous 2 years he had experienced asthma, contact urticaria, allergic conjunctivitis, and allergic rhinitis from sleeping with a buckwheat pillow. Six months after the first ingestion reaction, the patient again experienced anaphylaxis requiring emergency treatment when he accidentally ate crackers with a small amount of buckwheat. Skin-prick testing showed a strong positive response to buckwheat, and a radioallergosorbent assay test was highly positive to buckwheat. It is possible that inhaled buckwheat provoking asthma sensitized the patient before his two episodes of ingestion anaphylaxis. (Stember 2006 ref.15722 7)

Stember RH. Buckwheat allergy. Allergy Asthma Proc 2006 Jul;27(4):393-395

[ 9 / 38 ]

A 20-year-old woman developed four anaphylactic reactions (severe nasal obstruction, dyspnea, glottic edema, abdominal pain and diarrhea) few minutes after ingestion of pizza with tomato souce, mozzarella cheese, basil and oregano, in 4 different restaurants, in the last 2 years. No symptoms occurred eating home-made pizza. Similar gastrointestinal symptoms occurred 7 years before when she ate Pizzoccheri (pasta made with buckwheat flour only). Skin tests were positive for buckwheat, Artemisia absinthium pollen, soybean and peanut. Specific IgE for soybean, peanut and buckwheat were negative, but DBPCFC with buckwheat flour (few minutes after cumulative dose of 2,36g of food sample) induced abdominal pain, diarrhea and cough. (Heffler 2006 ref.23511 2)

Heffler E, Guida G, Badiu I, Nebiolo F, Rolla G. Anaphylaxis after ingestion of italian pizza due to buckwheat as hidden food allergen. EAACI Congress, Vienna-Austria. 2006 Jun; Oral Abstract 545 .

[ 10 / 38 ]

Allergy to buckwheat appears to be a new problem owing to its increased use in the food processing industry. Buckwheat is also used a substitute cereal in children with celiac disease. Allergy to buckwheat should therefore be considered in patients with classic symptoms of food allergy, where the signs are often severe. Cross-reactivity between buckwheat and latex has been demonstrated, therefore allergy to fruits and vegetables that cross-react with latex should be considered in patients who are proven to be allergic to buckwheat. Here we present a case of buckwheat allergy in a child and discuss the relevant literature. (Baruteau 2005 ref.12345 0)

Baruteau J, Sadani G, Jourdan C, Morelle K, Broué-Chabbert A, Rancé F. Allergie au sarrasin : à propos d'une observation chez l'enfant et revue de la littérature Revue francaise d allergologie 2005;45(5):422-425

[ 11 / 38 ]

The isolated occurance of atopic dermatitis to buckwheat in a 64-year-old African American man with no history of atopy. A pruritic rash on his arms, wrists, legs and back occurred after eating cream of buckwheat for breakfast. (Chandrupatla 200 ref.11999 7)

Chandrupatla CV, Kundu RV, Aronson IK. Buckwheat allergy and atopic dermatitis. J Am Acad Dermatol 2005 Aug;53(2):356-7.

[ 12 / 38 ]

A 37-year-old woman twice developed a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction after eating galettes, a special French pancake from Brittany. She had tolerated ordinary pancakes and crepes for many years. The allergological work-up revealed a Type I allergic reaction to buckwheat contained in the galettes. A prick test to buckwheat was positive and specific IgE antibodies to buckwheat were found in her serum. In contrast to wheat, buckwheat is not a cereal but a gluten-free knot-grass, initially from Asia. Whenever a patient suffers from allergic reactions due to pastries, a buckwheat allergy should be considered. (Plaza 2005 ref.12353 3)

Plaza T, Mahler V. Anaphylactic shock due to French galette. Type I allergic reaction to buckwheat. [German] Hautarzt 2005 Feb;56(2):2-163

[ 13 / 38 ]

These results indicate that buckwheat pillows are a source of very high endotoxin levels that may be of relevance to asthma severity of atopic asthmatics. (Nam 2004 ref.12265 7)

Nam HS, Park CS, Crane J, Siebers R. Endotoxin and house dust mite allergen levels on synthetic and buckwheat pillows. J Korean Med Sci 2004 Aug;19(4):505-8.

[ 14 / 38 ]

In 2002, 107 cases were reported to the French Allergy Vigilance Network of which 59.8 % were cases of anaphylactic shock (one being fatal), 18.7% systemic reaction, 15.9% laryngeal angio-edema, 5.6% serious acute asthma (one fatal). Adults represented 69% of cases (74 cases). The most frequent causal allergens were peanut (14), nuts (16), shellfish (9) latex group fruit (9 patients), and most often in-patients allergic to latex: avocado (4), kiwi (2), fig (2), and banana (1). Next came lupine flour (7), wheat flour (7), celery (5) and snails (5), sesame (4), milk (3), buckwheat (3), fish (3), peach (2), chicken (2). Single observations included sulfites, quinine (an additive in a tonic drink), mustard, lentils, kidneys, pork, melon, grapes, pears, chicory, artichokes, oranges and Anisakis simplex. Four patients had an immediate post-prandial shock and were reported as idiopathic shock. The allergen was present in a masked form in 13% of cases: peanut (6 - with one fatal), lupine (4), sesame (3), and hazelnut (1).
In 4 cases of which one lethal a severe anaphylactic reaction occurred after consumption of macaroon in which the almonds have been replaced by peanuts paste without an adequate labeling. Two cases of anaphylactic shocks in hospitalized children were due to chocolate drink containing lupine flour. Both children were allergic to peanuts and AS occurred by cross allergy. A case of food allergy to hazelnuts is due to a mislabeling on chocolate packaging at Halloween. Two cases of severe anaphylaxis by proxy are reported: the incriminated allergenic peanuts. The patient presented the allergic reaction by contact with another person eating peanuts. (Moneret-Vautrin 2004 ref.10176 0)

Moneret-Vautrin DA, Kanny G, Morisset M, Rance F, Fardeau MF, Beaudouin E. Severe food anaphylaxis: 107 cases registered in 2002 by the Allergy Vigilance Network. Allerg Immunol (Paris) 2004;36(2):46-51

[ 15 / 38 ]

Buckwheat flour is a potent food allergen. Sensitization usually occurs by ingestion, but also by inhalation in occupational or domestic situations. During the course of their manufacture, pillows stuffed with buckwheat husks may be contaminated with buckwheat flour and thus constitute a cause of nocturnal asthma in buckwheat-sensitized individuals. (Mairesse 2003 ref.8643 3)

Mairesse M, Ledent C. Nocturnal asthma due to buckwheat. [French] Revue francaise d allergologie 2003;43(8):527-529

[ 16 / 38 ]

Buckwheat allergy in a child. (Bourrier 2003 ref.8644 4)

Bourrier T, Noormahomed T, Coache M, Albertini M, Boutte P. A case of buckwheat allergy in a child. [French] Revue francaise d allergologie 2003;43(8):530-532

[ 17 / 38 ]

A report of a person who developed asthma and worsening allergic rhinitis after exposure to a buckwheat pillow. The patient showed a 4+ skin prick test response to buckwheat. His ImmunoCAP test for buckwheat-specific IgE was class 4, or strongly positive. He also showed 4+ positive skin prick responses to multiple trees, grasses, and weeds, Alternaria, Helminthosporium, dog, and histamine control and was 3+ positive to house-dust mites, Penicillium, Aspergillus, cat, and feather mix. Removal of the patient's two buckwheat pillows resulted in resolution of his asthma and improvement of rhinitis symptoms. (Fritz 2003 ref.7756 5)

Fritz SB, Gold BL. Buckwheat pillow-induced asthma and allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2003;90(3):355-8

[ 18 / 38 ]

Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, urticaria, angiodema and anaphylaxis have been reported. Buckwheat allergy is reported to be rare in the USA but it is not uncommon in Japan and other Asian countries where buckwheat consumption is more widespread. (Fritz 2003 ref.7756 5)

Fritz SB, Gold BL. Buckwheat pillow-induced asthma and allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2003;90(3):355-8

[ 19 / 38 ]

Positive skin tests to buckwheat are found in about 5% of Koreans. The positive and negative predictive values of Buckwheat-specific IgE in 28 children with challenge proven Buckwheat allergy and 16 asymptomatic control subjects, with positive skin test to Buckwheat were investigated. For 1.26 kUA/L cut off level, the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were 93.10, 93.33, 79.75 and 97.96%, respectively. (Sohn 2003 ref.8664 7)

Sohn MH, Lee SY, Kim KE. Prediction of buckwheat allergy using specific IgE concentrations in children. Allergy 2003;58(12):1308-10

[ 20 / 38 ]

12 children with an IgE-mediated food allergy who developed asthma on inhalational exposure to food were identified. The implicated foods were fish, chickpea, milk, egg or buckwheat. Nine out of the 12 children consented to undergo a bronchial food challenge. Five challenges were positive with objective clinical features of asthma. Additionally, two children developed late-phase symptoms with a decrease in lung function. Positive reactions were seen with fish, chickpea and buckwheat.

Age Food Oral Air SPT sIgE lU/ml (class)
5 Fish (frying) U C.W ND 8.29 (3)
7 Fish (steaming) W U.A.W ND 5.90 (3)
8 Fish (baking or steaming) U,W U,W 10 ND
11 Fish (steaming or frying) U,W C ND 7.29 (3)
13 Fish (steaming or frying) U,A C,W ND >100(6)
13 Fish (steaming or frying) U,S W,T 20 >100(6)
2 Chickpea (baking) U,W R.C ND 6.07 (3)
6 Chickpea (baking) U.R U,W 4 0.00 (0)
4 Milk (boiling) V.L C.W 10 18.10 (4)
5 Milk (boiling) A,U C ND 85.70 (5)
4 Egg (boiling) V.W W 6 53.40 (5)
7 Buckwheat (baking) U.W W 16 ND
U, urticaria: W, wheeze; V, vomiting: A, angiedema; S, stridor; R, rhinoconjunctivitis; L, lethargy; C, cough; T, chest tightness: ND: not done.

Age Food Challenge Early phase Late phase
5 Fish Moved away ND ND
7 Fish DBPCBFC Wheeze, cough, Cough, FEV1 fall
FEV1 fall
8 Fish Refused challenge ND ND
11 Fish DBPCBFC No symptoms or signs No symptoms or signs
13 Fish DBPCBFC Rhinitis, tight chest, No symptoms or signs
FEV1 fall
13 Fish Open Wheeze, cough No symptoms or signs
(steamed fish) FEV1 fall
2 Chickpea Refused challenge ND ND
6 Chickpea SBPCBFC Rhinitis, urticaria, Wheeze
wheeze, FEV1 fall FEV1 fall
4 Milk DBPCBFC No symptoms or signs No symptoms or signs
5 Milk DBPCBFC No symptoms or signs No symptoms or signs
4 Egg DBPCBFC No symptoms or signs No symptoms or signs
7 Buckwheat Open Urticaria, angiedema, No symptoms or signs
(Roberts 2002 ref.6660 1)

Roberts G, Golder N, Lack G. Bronchial challenges with aerosolized food in asthmatic, food-allergic children. Allergy 2002;57(8):713-7

[ 21 / 38 ]

Anaphylactic reaction in a 19-year-old-man after eating 'poffertjes' (small Dutch pancakes), the principal ingredient being buckwheat. It is highly likely that the patient was sensitised by sleeping on a pillow stuffed with buckwheat husk. (van Ginkel 2002 ref.7485 2)

van Ginkel CJ. Sensitisation to 'poffertjes' as a result of sleeping on a pillow containing buckwheat Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 2002;146(13):624-5

[ 22 / 38 ]

Anaphylaxis. (Schiffner 2001 ref.7462 1)

Schiffner R, Przybilla B, Burgdorff T, Landthaler M, Stolz W. Anaphylaxis to buckwheat. Allergy 2001;56(10):1020-1

[ 23 / 38 ]

Anaphylaxis. (Leynadier 2001 ref.7487 1)

Leynadier F. Anaphylaxis. 3 clinical cases. [French] Allerg Immunol (Paris) 2001;33(10):409-11

[ 24 / 38 ]

An 8-year old girl with food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis caused by Japanese buckwheat. The patient consumed buckwheat noodles called "zaru soba" and immediately thereafter swam vigorously. Approximately 30 minutes later, she complained of abdominal pain, vomiting, coughing, and chest discomfort. Another ten minutes later her consciousness level deteriorated and she experienced cardiorespiratory arrest. An exaggerated hematemesis that occurred immediately after hospital admission indicated an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract that was caused by buckwheat. Marked ulceration accompanied with hemorrhage and necrosis was noted at the ileum. Extensive hemorrhage involving the endotracheal pulmonary field and lymphocyte infiltration of the alveolar space likely appeared after the inflammation. Serum specific IgE was raised for buckwheat. (Noma 2001 ref.6693 2)

Noma T, Yoshizawa I, Ogawa N, Ito M, Aoki K, Kawano Y. Fatal buckwheat dependent exercised-induced anaphylaxis. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol 2001;19(4):283-6

[ 25 / 38 ]

This study demonstrated a 20% reduction in lung function to inhalation of aerosolised fish, buckwheat and chick pea. (Golder 2000 ref.3544 3)

Golder N, Roberts G, Lack G Aerosolised food can provoke asthma in childhood AAAAI 56th Annual Meeting 2000;March 3–8

[ 26 / 38 ]

Hypersensitivity to buckwheat allergen frequently causes anaphylactic type reactions including urticaria, wheezing, dyspnea and/or shock. Results of a questionnaire send to 341 elementary school nurses in Yokohama, of 92,680 children, the incidence of buckwheat allergy was determined to be 0.22% (140 boys and 54 girls). Symptoms were urticaria (37.3%), skin itching (33.3%), and wheezing (26.5%). Anaphylaxis was reported in 4 children (3.9%). The incidence of anaphylaxis due to buckwheat was higher than those due to egg and milk allergy. Seven pupils had allergic reactions to buckwheat noodle served at school lunch. (Takhashi 1998 ref.2518 1)

Takahashi Y, Ichikawa S, Aihara Y, Yokota S Buckwheat allergy in 90,000 school children in Yokohama. [Japanese] Arerugi 1998;47(1):26-33

[ 27 / 38 ]

Pulmonary haemosiderosis related to non-immediate buckwheat protein hypersensitivity. The patient had no serum or skin specific IgE, but was positive to a patch test. (Agata 1997 ref.612 34)

Agata H, Kondo N, Fukutomi O, Takemura M, Tashita H, Kobayashi Y, Shinoda S, Nishida T, Shinbara M, Orii T. Pulmonary hemosiderosis with hypersensitivity to buckwheat. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1997;78(2):233-7

[ 28 / 38 ]

Hypersensitivity resulting from the ingestion or inhalation of buckwheat allergen causes immediate manifestation of symptoms including urticaria, wheezing, dyspnea, anaphylactic shock, which is considered to be IgE-mediated type I hypersensitivity. Using sera of patients with buckwheat allergy the immuno-reactivity to purified buckwheat protein was investigated by ELISA and immunoblotting. The incidence of positive RAST value to buckwheat was 80% in the patients and 66.6% in the RAST-positive controls, and negative in the RAST-negative controls. By means of IgG-immunoblotting analysis, ten polypeptide bands of salt-soluble fraction and six polypeptides bands of salt-insoluble fraction were detected in all sera of the patients.

Takahashi Y. Analysis of immune responses in buckwheat allergy. [Japanese] Arerugi 1996;45(12):1244-55

[ 29 / 38 ]

Hypersensitivity to cereals may occur via inhalation or ingestion. Little information is available of the allergens causing symptoms in patients with atopic dermatitis. This Finnish study analysed the IgE immune-response to various cereals and specific cereal fractions of wheat and oats in children with severe AD and correlated the results with challenge studies. Skin- prick tests with wheat, oats, rice, corn, millet and buckwheat and an ethanol soluble gliadin fraction of wheat were performed to 34 wheat/oats challenge positive or negative children with AD. From the 34 AD children 33 were SPT positive with wheat and 18 with oats. Positive RAST to wheat and oats could be detected in 32 and 30 samples respectively. SPT with rice, corn, millet or buckwheat was positive in 16/34 patients. From the oral wheat challenge positive children 12/14 appeared positive with gliadin SPT and revealed positive RAST to gluten, but each of the wheat challenge negative were negative in SPT with gliadin. Immunoblotting using neutral and acidic fractions of cereals the IgE binding with sera of challenge positive children showed the most intensive staining, but no correlation was found between different staining patterns and the clinical wheat sensitivity. SPT with rice, corn, millet or buckwheat was positive in 16/34 patients. The strong association between the positive oral wheat challenge and the positive SPT with the ethanol soluble gliadin suggests that also gliadin is an important allergen in wheat-allergic children with AD.

The 26, 38 and 69 kDa bands in wheat and the 46 and 66 kDa in oats could be classified as major IgE binding proteins of these cereals (> 50% of the sera were positive). (Varjonen 1995 ref.7564 4)

Varjonen E, Vainio E, Kalimo K, Juntunen-Backman K, Savolainen J. Skin-prick test and RAST responses to cereals in children with atopic dermatitis. Characterization of IgE-binding components in wheat and oats by an immunoblotting method. Clin Exp Allergy 1995;25(11):1100-7

[ 30 / 38 ]

Immediate hypersensitive reactions induced by buckwheat ingestion are considered to be IgE-mediated. Some subjects, however, develop no immediate adverse reactions after buckwheat ingestion despite high levels of buckwheat-specific antigens IgE. To elucidate the possible mechanisms, RAST for buckwheat and rice and RAST inhibition between these antigens were performed using sera from 23 buckwheat-sensitive subjects and 30 buckwheat-tolerant subjects who had IgE antibodies for both buckwheat and rice. The authors report that there was cross-reactivity with IgE antibodies between buckwheat and rice and IgE antibodies from the buckwheat-tolerant subjects with high levels of IgE antibodies from the buckwheat might recognize the epitopes on buckwheat antigens which cross-react with rice antigens, whereas IgE antibodies from the buckwheat-sensitive subjects might bind to buckwheat-specific epitopes. (Yamada 1995 ref.99 784)

Yamada K, Urisu A, Morita Y, Kondo Y, Wada E, Komada H, et al. Immediate hypersensitive reactions to buckwheat ingestion and cross allergenicity between buckwheat and rice antigens in subjects with high levels of IgE antibodies to buckwheat.. Ann Allergy 1995;75(1):56-61

[ 31 / 38 ]

Wheatburger anaphylaxis due to hidden buckwheat. (Wuthrich 1995 ref.2450 6)

Wüthrich B, Trojan A. Wheatburger anaphylaxis due to hidden buckwheat. Clin Exp Allergy 1995;25(12):1263

[ 32 / 38 ]

In Switzerland reactions to buckwheat are very rare and mostly due to ingested buckwheat in the form of pizoccheri and buckwheat bread. This study describes 6 cases of allergic reactions due to buckwheat, with symptoms of urticaria (n=6), angioedema (n=4) and asthma (n=5). Four patients reacted to ingestion of buckwheat, and 2 patients to inhaled buckwheat allergens in an occupational setting. All were shown to have raised serum and skin specific IgE. (Schumacher 1993 ref.1348 3)

Schumacher F, Schmid P, Wüthrich B. Sarrazin allergy: a contribution to buckwheat allergy. [German] Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1993;123(33):1559-62

[ 33 / 38 ]

Can cause severe allergic reactions much more severe than wheat and it's relatives. GIT symptoms, urticaria, angioedema, dyspnoea, wheezing, asthma, rhinitis, anaphylaxis and shock. (Davidson 1992 ref.442 38) (Blumstein 1935 ref.441 32) Throat itching and pain. Contact urticaria.

Davidson AE, Passero MA, Settipane GA. Buckwheat-induced anaphylaxis: a case report. Ann Allergy 1992;69-439-440

[ 34 / 38 ]

Some subjects with high IgE for buckwheat show no immediate hypersensitive reactions to buckwheat ingestion. (Wada 1991 ref.7570 2)

Wada E, Urisu A, Kondo Y, Horiba F, Tsuruta M, Yasaki T, Masuda S, Yamada K, Kozawa T, Hida Y, et al. Relationship between immediate hypersensitive reactions by buckwheat ingestion and specific IgE for rice in subject with positive IgE-RAST for buckwheat. [Japanese] Arerugi 1991;40(12):1493-9

[ 35 / 38 ]

Nocturnal asthma from sleeping on buckwheat chaff-stuffed pillows (a common pillow filling in Korea), as a result of buckwheat allergy. (Lee 2001 ref.4300 5) (Matssumura 1969 ref.7503 3)

Matsumura T, Tateno K, Yugami S, Fujii H, Kimura T. Detection of allergens in bronchial asthma in childhood and its therapy. Bronchial asthma induced by buckwheat flour attached to buckwheat chaff in the pillow. [Japanese] Arerugi 1969;18(11):902-11

[ 36 / 38 ]

5.4% of 500 consecutive cases were skin prick positive to buckwheat. (Rowe 1937 ref.9200 4)

Rowe AH. In: Rowe AH, editor. Clinical allergy: manifestations, diagnosis and treatment. Individual food and drug allergies and their control. Lea & Febiber. Philadelphia. 1937:563

[ 37 / 38 ]

Even when only a very small amount is ingested or inhaled, it can cause serous allergic reactions. (Smith 1909 ref.9199 4)

Smith HL. Buckwheat poisoining with report of a case in a man. Arch Int Med 1909;3:350-359

[ 38 / 38 ]

For Wheat pollen, see: Cultivated Wheat
For Wheat, food, see: Wheat

See also:
Bulgur wheat / Bulghur wheat
Durum wheat
Wheat species
Einkorn wheat
Wheat isolate
Tartarian Buckwheat

Note: Some food allergens routes of exposure may be via ingestion or inhalation.

Editor Comment Editorial comment, common knowledge, or still to add - -

Occupational reactions

[ 1 ]

Occupational allergen (Wieslander 2001 ref.4302 6)

Wieslander G, Norback D. Buckwheat allergy. [Editorial] Allergy 2001;56(8):703-4

[ 2 ]

Occupational allergy to buckwheat flour (Obase 2000 ref.7488 2)

Obase Y, Shimoda T, Mitsuta K, Matsuse H, Kohno S. Two patients with occupational asthma who returned to work with dust respirators. Occup Environ Med 2000;57(1):62-4

[ 3 ]

Allergy to common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) has been reported from Europe and Japan, and a 24 kDa globulin protein has been identified as one of the major allergens. In China also another type, tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tartaricum) is grown and consumed. Three groups of individuals in Shanxi province, China, were investigated for buckwheat allergy using skin prick test. The groups were: agricultural researchers with occupational exposure to buckwheat (N = 16); workers in a food industry producing buckwheat noodles (N = 25), and patients with diabetes or cardiovascular disease consuming buckwheat as functional food (N = 20). One male industrial worker had a positive skin prick test to buckwheat, but no symptoms while eating or handling buckwheat products. In total, 34% consumed buckwheat food at least every week, and 23% had a weekly consumption of tartary buckwheat. The prevalence of doctor's diagnosed asthma was low (1.6%). (Wieslander 2000 ref.4180 0)

Wieslander G, Norback D, Wang Z, Zhang Z, Mi Y, Lin R. Buckwheat allergy and reports on asthma and atopic disorders in Taiyuan City, Northern China. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol 2000;18(3):147-52

[ 4 ]

Occupational asthma in an individual working in pancake restaurant. Confirmed was obtained by specific bronchial challenge with aerolised buckwheat. (Choudat 1997 ref.2448 2)

Choudat D, Villette C, Dessanges JF, Combalot MF, Fabries JF, Lockhart A, Dall'Ava J, Conso F. Occupational asthma caused by buckwheat flour. [French] Rev Mal Respir 1997;14(4):319-21

[ 5 ]

Occupational allergy to buckwheat in a noodle maker. (Park 1996 ref.2449 3)

Park HS, Nahm DH. Buckwheat flour hypersensitivity: an occupational asthma in a noodle maker. Clin Exp Allergy 1996;26(4):423-7

[ 6 ]

Occupational exposure to buckwheat flour has been associated with rhinitis, conjunctivitis, contact urticaria, and occupational asthma. We present a patient who developed urticaria and hypotension after ingestion of buckwheat crepes. (Davidson 1992 ref.442 12)

Davidson AE, Passero MA, Settipane GA. Buckwheat-induced anaphylaxis: a case report. Ann Allergy 1992;69-439-440

[ 7 ]

Occupational allergen - Rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma, itch or urticaria occurred to exposure of comparatively low levels of buckwheat dust in connection with the grinding and packaging of buckwheat (Gohte 1983 ref.235 75) (Valdivieso 1989 ref.3066 2),

Gothe CJ, Wieslander G, Ancker K, Forsbeck M. Buckwheat allergy: health food, an inhalation health risk. Allergy 1983;38(3):155-159

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