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Limit the Spices

Posted at: 11/13/2012 5:02 PM
Updated at: 11/13/2012 5:32 PM

They may wake up your taste buds, but too much spice in your food could damage your health. ABC's Dr. Timothy Johnson explains in this Medical Minute.

Thinking about really spicing up your Thanksgiving Dinner? You may want to think again, and hold off sprinkling too many spices on your turkey. Here's why.

New information presented at a meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says 2% of all food allergies can be blamed on spices. And a spice allergy is serious business. It forces you to keep a strict diet. It may lower the quality of your life. In extreme cases, it can cause malnutrition.

There is another problem with spices. It's difficult to avoid them, even if you know that you are allergic to them. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate spices. So they are often not listed on food labels, making them difficult to identify. And spices aren't just in foods. They are also widely used in cosmetics and dental products.

Another problem -- many people don't know they are allergic to spices because there are no reliable allergy skin or blood tests.

So the best way of preventing a spice allergy in the first place may be by simply reducing your spice consumption.