Document Detail

Clinical effects of sulphite additives.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19775253     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Sulphites are widely used as preservative and antioxidant additives in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Topical, oral or parenteral exposure to sulphites has been reported to induce a range of adverse clinical effects in sensitive individuals, ranging from dermatitis, urticaria, flushing, hypotension, abdominal pain and diarrhoea to life-threatening anaphylactic and asthmatic reactions. Exposure to the sulphites arises mainly from the consumption of foods and drinks that contain these additives; however, exposure may also occur through the use of pharmaceutical products, as well as in occupational settings. While contact sensitivity to sulphite additives in topical medications is increasingly being recognized, skin reactions also occur after ingestion of or parenteral exposure to sulphites. Most studies report a 3-10% prevalence of sulphite sensitivity among asthmatic subjects following ingestion of these additives. However, the severity of these reactions varies, and steroid-dependent asthmatics, those with marked airway hyperresponsiveness, and children with chronic asthma, appear to be at greater risk. In addition to episodic and acute symptoms, sulphites may also contribute to chronic skin and respiratory symptoms. To date, the mechanisms underlying sulphite sensitivity remain unclear, although a number of potential mechanisms have been proposed. Physicians should be aware of the range of clinical manifestations of sulphite sensitivity, as well as the potential sources of exposure. Minor modifications to diet or behaviour lead to excellent clinical outcomes for sulphite-sensitive individuals.
H Vally; N L A Misso; V Madan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review     Date:  2009-09-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology     Volume:  39     ISSN:  1365-2222     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Exp. Allergy     Publication Date:  2009 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-10-28     Completed Date:  2009-12-15     Revised Date:  2010-05-10    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8906443     Medline TA:  Clin Exp Allergy     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1643-51     Citation Subset:  IM    
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU College of Medicine and Health Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Asthma / etiology,  immunology,  therapy
Drug Industry
Food Industry
Food Preservatives / adverse effects*
Sulfites / adverse effects*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Food Preservatives; 0/Sulfites
Comment In:
Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Apr;40(4):688; author reply 689-90   [PMID:  20447080 ]
Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Apr;40(4):688-9

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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