Both inhalant allergens and food allergens are reported to induce symptoms of asthma. However, food may play a minor role in respiratory allergy, and allergy to food may contribute to respiratory symptoms by increasing bronchial hyperresponsiveness. In this study, we examined serum levels of specific IgE antibodies to food allergens and inhalant allergens in bronchial asthma patients. Rice, wheat, soybean, corn and potato were selected as food allergens in this study.
The positive ratio of IgE RAST (radioallergosorbent test) to potato was highest and that to rice was lowest among the five food allergens tested. High positivities of specific IgE antibodies to food allergens did not correlate to patient age or age at onset, and were found in patients with high levels of serum IgE. Positive IgE RAST to food allergens was detected only in patients with specific IgE antibodies to inhalant allergens. Positive ratio of specific IgE antibodies to food allergens tended to be higher in asthmatics with other allergic disease than in those without allergic disease.