HealthDay News — Food additives may play a role in the etiology of recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), according to a study published online December 30 in the International Journal of Dermatology.

Duygu Gülseren, MD, from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving 24 patients with RAS and 22 healthy controls. Participants underwent patch testing for 23 food additives in an effort to examine whether food additives play a role in RAS etiology, and to assess which allergens cause RAS. 

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The researchers found that 87.5% of RAS patients and 13.6% of controls had positive patch test reactions to one or more allergens in total (P<0.05). In the patient group, the most common allergen that elicited positive patch test results was cochineal red (62.5%), followed by azorubine and amaranth (45.8 and 25.0%, respectively).

“In conclusion, the present findings indicate that food additives might play a role in the development of RAS and that patch testing might be a useful method for determining the etiology of RAS,” the authors write.

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