Most patients with a sesame allergy can safely consume small amounts of the intact seeds.


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November 24, 2021

2 minutes to read


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Most sesame allergy patients were able to tolerate small amounts of intact sesame seeds, according to a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

ADI Ovadia, MD, and colleagues at the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Clinic at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, reviewed all oral dietary challenges administered with intact sesame seeds at the center from October 2017 to April 2019.

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Clinicians at the center performed CFOs with increasing doses of 10, 20, 40, and 50 intact sesame seeds at 20-minute intervals using small pretzel snacks containing about 20 sesame seeds each, or about 50 mg of sesame seeds. sesame seeds and 12 mg of sesame protein per pretzel.

The analysis included 51 children (median age, 4.2 years; age range, 1.6 to 15.7 years; 65% boys) with sesame allergy, who were diagnosed when the children were aged 5 months to 54 months (median age 4.2 years), with a median time from diagnosis to OFC of 3.2 years.

Additionally, 41 (80.4%) of these children were diagnosed after an allergic reaction to tahini or ground sesame butter, and 10 (19.6%) were diagnosed based on positive skin test results during evaluation of another food allergy.

According to the results, 38 of 41 patients (92.7%) reported allergic reactions involving the skin, 10 (24.4%) reported gastrointestinal symptoms and six (14.6%) respiratory symptoms.

Additionally, seven (17%) experienced an initial anaphylactic reaction and four (7.8%) developed anaphylaxis after accidental exposure after diagnosis.

The researchers further found that 40 (78.4%) had an additional atopic manifestation, including atopic dermatitis (64.7%) and asthma (51%).

The results also showed that 41 (80.4%) successfully completed OFC and consumed an average of 3.1 pretzels, or approximately 150 mg of sesame seeds, while 10 (19.6%) responded to OFC with gastrointestinal symptoms, mild rash and / or mild rhinorrhea.

Four patients required oral antihistamines; none of them needed adrenaline. A diagnosis of asthma (P = 0.011) was the only statistically significant difference between patients who passed or failed OFC.

The clinicians told the patients to continue to eat the same amount of sesame seeds as those provoked at least three or four times a week. Additionally, clinicians have told patients to stop avoiding foods that may contain traces of sesame. None of the patients who passed OFC and continued to incorporate intact sesame seeds into their diet reported allergic reactions.

Currently, doctors recommend that allergy sufferers avoid sesame altogether. However, the researchers concluded that because 80.4% of their participants tolerated a small amount of intact sesame seeds and all of the children who failed OFC suffered only mild allergic reactions, OFC involving small amounts of intact sesame seeds are safe and continued exposure may promote future tolerance.

Such treatment would be beneficial because children with food allergies have a poorer quality of life than those with other chronic conditions, the researchers wrote, as food allergies are often associated with anxiety from accidental exposure. . Consuming small amounts of sesame can therefore have a positive impact on their quality of life.

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