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Author:  Suzie BekirFebruary 16, 2017
food intolerance

organic foods not necessarily better for food intolerances

Growing fruits and vegetables without pesticides and herbicides makes them substantially increase their own production of natural salicylates and other protective chemicals! These natural chemicals present in many ‘healthy’ foods can be a real problem for some patients whom have salicylate, amine and glutamate sensitivities.

What are chemical sensitivities
These natural chemicals, amines and glutamate are formed in fruits as the proteins break down and levels increase with ripening and softening such as banana and avacado.
Salicylates have a natural anti-bacterial and preservative action which protects the plant from attack by microbes, insects and pests before they are ripe. While this is protective for the fruit, many people with food intolerances have chemical intolerances leading to symptoms such as hives, bloating, stomach pain and headaches and fatigue.
There are higher levels of chemicals in organic food
An example of a study showing higher levels of salicylates in organic foods.

G. J. Baxter, A. B. Graham, J. R. Lawrence, D. Wiles and J. R. Paterson. 2001 Dec Salicylic acid in soups prepared from organically and non-organically grown vegetables Eur.J.Nutr. 40 6 289-292
BACKGROUND: Salicylic acid is a chemical signal in plants infected by pathogens and it is responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of aspirin.We wondered if foods made from organically-reared plants might have a higher content of salicylic acid than those made from non-organic plants, since the latter are more likely to be protected from infection by the application of pesticides. OBJECTIVE: To determine if organic vegetable soups have a higher salicylic acid content than non-organic vegetable soups. METHODS: The contents of salicylic acid in organic and non-organic vegetable soups purchased from supermarkets were determined. Salicylic acid was identified by varying the chromatographic conditions and comparing the retention times of the unknown substance in the extracts with salicylic acid; by treating extracts of the soups with salicylate hydroxylase; and by using GCMS. Salicylic acid was determined by using HPLC with electrochemical detection. RESULTS: Salicylic acid was present in all of the organic and most of the non-organic vegetable soups. The median contents of salicylic acid in the organic and non-organic vegetable soups were 117 (range, 8-1040) ng x g(-1) and 20 (range, 0-248) ng x g(-1) respectively. The organic soups had a significantly higher content of salicylic acid (p=0.0032 Mann Whitney U test), with a median difference of 59 ng g(-1) (95 % confidence interval, 18-117ng x g(-1)). CONCLUSIONS: Organic vegetable soups contained more salicylic acid than non-organic ones, suggesting that the vegetables and plants used to prepare them contained greater amounts of the phenolic acid than the corresponding non-organic ingredients. Consumption of organic foods may result in a greater intake of salicylic acid

Many of the patients visiting Australian Allergy Centre or collective.care Allergy have concerns about food allergy. Food intolerances are different to food allergy and our GP’s are trained in understanding the differences.

Before making any major changes to your diet, see a Doctor. Food chemical intolerance can be very unpleasant but fortunately dont generally cause permanent damage to the body. If you have persistent symptoms its wise to first make sure some serious disease hasn’t been overlooked.

If you have a concern about food allergy, intolerance or chemical sensitivities please make an appointment to see our Doctors at Bella Vista, Wollongong and Edgecliff. Bulk billing available 1300 344325.