Question: If my child is allergic to peanuts, does that mean he/she is allergic to all legumes (beans, peas)?
Answer: The fact is that most peanut-allergic children are not allergic to other legumes. Other legumes we'd be talking about -- peas and beans, soy. And when we take all children with peanut allergy, it turns out that about ten percent are allergic to one or more of those other legumes. But the other 90 percent are not.
There were some old recommendations back in the 1970s and '80s that children with peanut allergies should automatically avoid all legumes, but studies that we actually conducted here at Johns Hopkins revealed that lower percentage of true reactivity to these other products. And, therefore, we don't automatically avoid them.
There's one legume that's not common in the American marketplace, but is common in some European countries, and we may be seeing it more here, called lupine. And lupine is different than the other legumes in that it's much more likely to be a problem in children with peanut allergy.
So we are recommending people keep on the lookout for this. We are seeing occasional reactions. And it is different than the rest of the peas and beans and soy that kids with peanut allergy will usually be fine with.