In May, several news portals such as the Huffington Post  reported that a young South Korean woman was suffering from a fructose allergy. This is the first time that an allergy – and not an intolerance – to fructose has been proven. The story spread quickly, but is it true?
We took a closer look at the story. This incident actually took place back in 2017 and was also published . A 20-year-old South Korean woman with allergy symptoms and anaphylactic shock was admitted to hospital after drinking a glass of cola. It turned out that her IgE levels were not elevated and that she had no allergy to mites, food or other substances. However, she had previously had similar problems with certain foods containing fructose, such as honey, apples or ice cream.
The doctors tested all the possibilities, found nothing and were then able to trigger the allergy symptoms again with a glass of cola. They have now carried out tests with various sugars that were not previously known to trigger such symptoms. They were able to find out, even through double-blind tests, that the patient actually reacted with allergy-like symptoms to fructose absorbed via the digestive tract. However, their IgE value remained low.
The doctors and study authors conclude that this is the first case of an anaphylactic reaction following the consumption of fructose and that this is probably due to a direct basophilic granulocyte or granulocyte-induced anaphylactic reaction. mast cell activation . They do not speak of allergies directly, as it is not a classic allergy, but does cause allergy-like symptoms.
The mechanism behind this is still unknown. It is very important that no general statements can be made from a very interesting individual case. Something like that would be dangerous. So being afraid of a fructose allergy or even suspecting that you have one is certainly not a good idea. Nevertheless, it remains an exciting individual case. It will be interesting to see whether there are other cases and whether this patient is also being investigated by other researchers. In any case, we will stay on top of this case and keep you up to date.
 Huffpost / jg, “Huffington Post,” 6 5 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.huffingtonpost.de/entry/einzigartige-krankheit-frau-trinkt-glas-cola-und-wird-sofort-ohnmachtig_de_5aef2fbae4b0ab5c3d66b86b.
 C.-G. Jung, E.-M. Yang, J.-H. Lee, S.-H. Kim, H.-S. Park and Y. S. Shin, “Coca-Cola allergy identified as fructose-induced anaphylaxis,” The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, p. 1, 3 3 2018.