Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Allergy Unit

Student research

Lupin Exposure Study:
Dietary Differences in Lupin sensitised Individuals

Anja Carina S�ssmann
Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, The University of Sydney
Supervisors: Velencia Soutter, Robert Loblay, Anne Swain
November 2007

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Purpose: This study explored whether there exist any correlations between lupin sensitisation and dietary intake in the presence and absence of sensitisation to other foods, especially peanut.

Hypothesis: There are dietary differences between lupin sensitised and non-sensitised individuals, in particular regarding the intake of high fibre and lupin breads, which are consumed more frequently in lupin sensitised subjects.

Methods: 100 patients who underwent skin prick testing for investigation of possible food allergies at the RPAH Allergy Unit completed a food frequency questionnaire designed to elicit information about lupin intake and exposure. Responses were analysed (SPSS 15.0) for any significant differences after categorisation of participants into three groups depending on whether they were sensitised to lupin and/or peanut, and age groups younger and older than five years. 30 subjects were lupin and peanut sensitised (L+P+), 14 were sensitised to peanut but not lupin (L-P+), and 56 were neither sensitised to lupin nor peanut (L-P-). No participants were sensitised to lupin but not peanut (L+P-). SPSS was also used to assess any relationship between sensitisation to lupin/peanut and treenuts, sesame and almond.

Results: No significant differences in food intake were found in relation to lupin sensitisation, when peanut was excluded as a confounding factor.However there was a non-significant trend in the over five years age group which could be examined further with a larger sample size. This included an increased intake of nuts and seeds, legumes (except lentils), and chocolate confectionery in lupin positive/peanut positive individuals as opposed to lupin negative/peanut positive individuals.

Regarding sensitisation to other foods in subjects older than five years, more lupin positive/peanut positive individuals than lupin negative/peanut positive individuals were sensitised to almond and other treenuts. Most interestingly, lupin sensitised individuals were found to have a significantly higher rate of sensitisation tp sesame.

Conclusion: Trends indicating dietary differences between lupin sensitised and non-sensitised individuals exist. These need to be reassessed during the continuation of this study as the sample size is increasing. At this point in time no correlation between high fibre and lupin bread intake and lupin sensitisation could be detected, however this hypothesis cannot be rejected.