Definition of cross sensitivity:
A sensitivity to one substance that predisposes an individual to sensitivity to other substances that are related in chemical structure. Cross sensitivity with allergic reactions may develop between antibiotics of similar chemical structures.
The Penicillin and Cephalosporin antibiotics are cousins. Some people who are allergic to Penicillin may react to antibiotics from the Cephalosporin group.
Thus, it is the same where natural compounds in food are concerned.
People who are sensitive to salicylates, may develop sensitivity to natural benzoates and natural gallates.
Food that contain natural benzoates are cinnamon, tea and berries.
Food that contain natural gallates are tea leaves, sumac, witch hazel, and oak bark.
* However, food chemical intolerant individuals appear to react to a diverse range of plant derived aromatic chemicals, not merely to salicylates. This is called cross-reactivity and occurs when chemicals are similar enough in structure that they fire the same receptors in the body. What this range of chemicals have in common is that they exhibit the ability to interfere with arachidonic acid metabolism and prostaglandin production, and a tendency to increase inflammatory leukotriene production through the inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) I/II and/or the induction of lipoxygenase (LOX). Many of these chemicals also suppress the production of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). The group includes relatively strong COX II inhibitors like salicylates, and also weaker COX I/II inhibitors from a broad range of polyphenols and flavinoids. Even some carotinoids are weak COX II inhibitors that may affect those with extreme sensitivities (however vitamin A in the form of all-trans retinoic acid actually induces COX II enzymes). While salicylates act as selective COX II inhibitors, some polyphenols also inhibit COX I, an enzyme whose activity is required by the whole digestive system for normal function and protection. Other polyphenols simultaneously suppress COX I/II and LOX production. Though LOX induction is problematic and leukotrienes are involved in a number of food chemical intolerance syndromes such as asthma and eczema, COX inhibition in and of itself appears to be problematic too, as prostaglandins are responsible for regulating autonomic neurotransmitters and interact with dopamine in the brain.
Polyphenols that intolerant individuals probably also react to include the following COX inhibitors (not an exhaustive list):
- Cyanidin (cherries, berries)
- Proanthocyanidins (chocolate, broad beans, nuts, wine)
- Delphinidin (berries, wine)
- Hesperetin (citrus fruits, peppermint)
- Naringenin (citrus fruits)
- Apigenin (parsley, peppermint, thyme, salad vegetables)
- Luteolin (thyme, parsley, peppermint, peppers, rosemary, citrus, leafy green vegetables)
- Isorhamnetin (parsley, dill, chives, onions) Kaempferol (capers, dill, kale)
- Myricetin (parsley, berries, broadbeans, tea, citrus)
- Quercetin (capers, dill, buckwheat, cocoa, onions, peppers, berries)
- Rutin (grapes, buckwheat)
- Gallates and catechins
- Catechin (broadbeans, fruits)
- Epigallocatechin (broadbeans, tea)
- Epicatechin (broadbeans, fruit, tea, wine)
- Theaflavin (tea, buckwheat)
- Gallates (tea)
- Other polyphenols
- Curcumin (turmeric)
- Tannins (tea, coffee, wine, fruits, wild rice)
- Beta and alpha carotene
- Glycoalkaloids (nightshades e.g. potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum, tobacco)
* taken from http://failsafediet.wordpress.com
Some of the smells from the list above that bother me are wine, citrus fruit (especially oranges), coffee and (occasionally capsicum). I was thinking that maybe the reason that I am not bothered by some of the smells above is that because they differ slightly in their chemical structures? I am not sure.
Maybe any of you who have the same ailment as I do could share about what makes you sick and what are the things that you can tolerate? And if you have any good articles/websites, please feel free to share.