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Allergies

Papain allergy

03/01/2001

Question:

What is the incidence of allergies to papain? What types of products/foods does a person need to avoid if allergic? Where can I find more information?

Thanks

Answer:

The primary ones are papaya fruit, papaya juice and meat tenderizer which commonly contains papain. Latex is cross-reactive with papain. If you are a health care worker with allergy to latex gloves, one can develop food allergy to papain as well as other foods(kiwi, avocado). They used to use papain in soft contact lens cleaners and physicians used to use a related enzyme, chympapain, for injecting lumbar discs (no longer done).

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Response by:

David I Bernstein, MD David I Bernstein, MD
Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati