The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert regarding an ingredient commonly found in gluten-free products that may cause anaphylaxis in patients with a legume allergy.

Lupin, also referred to as lupine, is a legume in the same plant family as peanuts (Fabaceae) that has been reported in case studies to cause allergic reactions in some patients, including anaphylaxis. A common ingredient in foods in Europe, it is increasingly being used as a replacement for gluten-containing flours in gluten-free foods in the United States.

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While some patients may develop a lupin allergy over time, others may have an allergic reaction on first exposure. Research has found that individuals who have a peanut allergy have a greater risk of a lupin allergy as well, making this ingredient another potential allergen.

The FDA is advising consumers with a legume allergy to be aware of this ingredient, particularly in gluten-free foods, and to seek immediate medical attention or advice if allergic reactions occur. Clinicians treating patients with celiac disease should inform them of this ingredient, particularly if there is a known history of a legume allergy.

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