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People generally follow an egg-free diet for one of two reasons: either they wish to maintain a vegan (pure vegetarian) diet, or they are allergic to eggs. Most people who are allergic to eggs are allergic to egg protein and usually react to the proteins in the egg white. However, because it is impossible to completely avoid cross-contamination between yolk and white, people who are allergic to eggs need to avoid eggs completely. The most allergenic proteins in egg white are ovalbumin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin, and lysozyme. Lysozyme is an unlabeled additive used in cheese preparation. Egg yolk contains three proteins (apovitellenins I & VI and phosvitin) that are also allergenic.
Egg allergy symptoms may include any of the common symptoms of food allergies, including skin rashes or hives, gastrointestinal distress, breathing problems, or many other possible symptoms. In severe cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis may occur; however, such a reaction to eggs is quite uncommon.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.