Activia and rapeseed allergies - amongst all the reviews of Activia yogurt there is only the occassional good one in favor of it. That's understandable. It's human nature to be more vocal when we are unhappy with a product
The following review is of one man's experience after a life threatening allergic reaction to rapeseed and how Activia yogurt healed him.
"In 1993 I got an allergic reaction and severe infection by standing near a UK farmers field in which Rapeseed (the bright Yellow Flower Cooking Oil Plant) was growing. The next day I was so ill I was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack.
Long story - Rapeseed plant when in flower gives off oil-seed fumes and an highly irritant pollen that can be almost deadly for some. 16 years later I was still very ill, its adverse nerve-ending damage - effects are incurable and I've the Hospitals bills and letters to prove it. I sort of recalled reading about the Russian who devoted his life to this probiotic field (thank you Sir) so tried it.
Within 2 days / my 2 tubs of Activia (THANK YOU DANONE) killed whatever Bacteria was bugging me. The beneficial effect occurred within 24 hours. Since then I've discovered I'm 99.0% cured, I admit some lingering Bacteria remain, they re-emerge, mutate and muliply, but one tub of Activia just about wipes these survivors all out.
Can I add (from experience) that Activia beats Doxycillan and Pennicillan and a 3rd anti-biotic whose name I can't spell. Like others I did have a few minor bouts of diarrohea but who cares. Thank you." (end of Bob's review)
Many people have an allergic response to rapeseed oil. It was believed that oilseed rape pollen allergies were always the result of cross-sensitization with various other pollens such as birch or grass1. However a new rapeseed allergen has been found that can be the main allergen for some people2.
Rapeseed oil is known to give off volatile organic compounds such as terpenes and aldehydes which could account for its irritant effect on the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth and throat.
The inhalation of rapeseed dust, not pollen, has caused IgE mediated bronchoconstriction in an exposed worker of the grain industry3..
There is very little in PubMed about health problems with rapeseed plants but that might only prove there is more funding available for research into its use as an animal feed than human health! Even researchers get their priorities wrong at time! However their does seem to be enough evidence to support the fact that if a person was very sensitive to rapeseed oil they could have a severe reaction.
Bob is convinced that it was his proximity to a field of rapeseed that triggered his life threatening attack. I've lived near fields of canola (a type of rapeseed) with no effect what-so-ever but I am not sensitive to them.
And the probiotic bacteria in Activia is what helped Bob so much. Whether any probiotic would have done the job or whether something in members of the Bifidobacterium family could have cured him - or whether it came right down to Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010, the strain used in Activia, who can say.
Members of the Bifidobacterium family are known to prevent colonization of bad bacteria and to stimulate the immune response3 - both things that would have helped Bob.
1. Chardin H, Mayer C, Senechal H, Tepfer M, Desvaux FX, Peltre G. Characterization of high-molecular-mass allergens in oilseed rape pollen. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2001 Jun;125(2):128-34.
2. Chardin H, Mayer C, Senechal H, Poncet P, Clement G, Wal JM, Desvaux FX, Peltre G. Polygalacturonase (pectinase), a new oilseed rape allergen. Allergy. 2003 May;58(5):407-11. eview)
3 Suh CH, Park HS, Nahm DH, Kim HY. Oilseed rape allergy presented as occupational asthma in the grain industry. Clin Exp Allergy. 1998 Sep;28(9):1159-63.
4. Ishibashi N, Yaeshima T and Hayasawa H. Bifidobacteria: their significance in human intestinal health. Mal J Nutr 3: 149-159, 1997.