Tomato Backlash

“I had a really interesting event last week. Our tomato harvest is at its peak and I made a huge batch of Gazpacho (a cold soup made of with lots of tomatoes) and ate it and a tomato, cucumber and basil salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a couple of days. My knee had a huge reaction to that! Increased heat and swelling, incredible stiffness and that feeling like there was a Boa Constrictor wrapped around it! It had been a long time since it felt like that.”

Response: Generally tomatoes are a beneficial part of a healthy diet, but they do contain profilin, a protein that up-regulates the contraction of tissues, adhesions, cell migration (immune cells to site of injury etc). Therefore, profilin from eating a Lot of tomato could activate fibrosis, without an allergy being involved, but allergies also occur. Profilin may be destroyed in the stomach, but we know that people who are allergic to the protein sometimes have systemic reactions, implying that it can cross into the blood.

It may therefore be wise to only eat small amounts of profilin-containing fruit: tomato, capsicums (bell peppers) and melon, in the months post-op