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Q&A: Eggplant sensitivity

Consumer Reports News: August 06, 2010 09:47 AM

Is it possible to be allergic to eggplant? —C.H., Hinesburg, Vt. 

Yes, but it’s less common than allergies to other foods from the nightshade family, which include bell peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. People who are sensitive to eggplant are often allergic to latex too, possibly because the two share some of the same proteins. 

Eggplants also contain histamines, substances that can trigger inflammation and allergic symptoms such as hives. The allergy appears more common among women than men. If you think you might have an eggplant allergy, see an allergist for a skin-prick test. If it turns out you’re also allergic to latex, you’ll probably need to avoid both substances, since repeated exposure to either of them can cause the latex allergy to worsen.

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