Repeated Exposure to Corn Pollen Encourages Sensitisation

I thought this was an interesting study done in France recently:

Prevalence of sensitisation to oilseed rape and maize pollens in France

The researchers found that people who live closest to maize (corn) and rapeseed fields were much more likely to develop a problem with those foods, and possibly also cross-reactive foods like seeds as a result.

I was thinking that this may well be why we get gluten whiplash to corn too – I have always said we tend to start eating much more corn because that is what is ubiquitous in gluten free manufactured foods nowadays. Some of us then develop a problem with corn that gives us much the same problems as the gliadin did originally. I have seen it time and time again.

I know this is a different issue being considered in this study – they were wondering if our new tendency to monoculture, growing one crop where we used to grow several on farms, had anything to do with the increasing prevalence of allergy. But, I think it could go some way to explaining the issue we have with over-exposure sensitivities too.

Living near something and inhaling the pollens daily and eating something several times a week is unsurprisingly, in my view, going to lead to increased sensitivity until we get those barriers healed and the allergy mechanisms under control. That’s why I advise trying to rotate/vary your food types round a bit in the early days. I lost almonds from not doing this enough early on and going a bit mad on them!

Anyway, good write up here for you and you can read the study via the link above.



2 thoughts on “Repeated Exposure to Corn Pollen Encourages Sensitisation

  1. Hi Micki,
    Did you get to read the whole paper?
    The idea that exposure to a particular pollen is associated with an increased sensitivity seems pretty intuitive. However, does this have anything to do with sensitivity to foods from the corresponding plants? Corn seeds and soybean seeds are produced at a different time from pollen, and while it’s conceivable that there might be some overlap between the proteins that are responsible for pollen allergy, this paper does not seem to address the possibility. Perhaps I’m missing something.

    • Good point, I did wonder myself, Peter. My view from personal and clinical experience, though, is that sensitivity is not all about proteins and I wouldn’t be surprised if pollen sensitisation was a precursor to sensitivity to other parts of the plant in future for some. An interesting thought, anyway.

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