Welcome to Allergy Insight

Allergy Insight takes an informative, analytical and sometimes critical look at all topical issues concerning allergy — in particular food allergy — as well as coeliac disease, food intolerance, restricted diets, ‘free from’ food, veganism / vegetarianism, gut disorders such as IBS, and other food hypersensitivities.

To find your way around the site, use the menu above, the categories below right or enter a search term in the top right corner. New or topical articles can be found below.


If you’re susceptible to excess FODMAPs in your diet and have IBS, can digestive enzymes help? Some might be able to, but the evidence for others is modest. Here are some which may be able to ease symptoms.



As a follow-up to the earlier Hotel Chocolat post, here’s a round-up of Christmas chocolate products which are genuinely free-from — indeed, free from most of the 14 allergens, if not all. Find out about them here.



Hotel Chocolat’s ‘No Gluten Recipe’ chocolate hamper ‘may contain traces’ of wheat (and other allergens) — yet Free From Heaven magazine have been promoting it as first a gluten free, and then a wheat free product. Why? Click here for some answers.



Do you always conduct a hair dye allergy test when you’re about to colour your hair – even when it’s a product you’ve safely used before? You should, but is the great variation in guidance and instruction causing apathy among women? Read more here.



Gluten free oats should still be highlighted as an allergen on all ingredients labels, but huge brands such as Genius Foods, Nairn’s and Nature’s Path have yet to fall in line. Click here for more about this ongoing problem.



Are oats really good for eczema? The answer is probably yes – but caution is advised in the very young, and where there is broken skin, as this could potentially increase the risk of allergy. Read on …




Marks & Spencer’s allergy and intolerance information online is very good – and they offer a bespoke allergen list service, where you can request safe products free from up to five allergens out of a choice of seven. Read more here.



Announcing a new spin-off project — a Twitter account dedicated to brands and products free from the 14 EU food allergens, and other ’14 allergens’ news. Have some to share? Let me know at @14AllergensFree or using the hashtag #14free. More here.



Aldi are ‘doing’ gluten-free this summer — even going as far as to recommend all their customers give it a go because sportsmen do it — but they appear to have neglected to mention coeliac disease. Poor show all round from the discounter. More here.



Many with coeliac are confused by the occasional presence of ‘wheat’ or ‘barley’ on their gluten-free food and drink labels, but there is likely to be an innocent explanation, and it’s all to do with the 14 declarable allergens in the EU. Read more here.



Is there a difference in meaning, or interpretation, between ‘dairy free‘ and ‘milk free‘? And is it acceptable or misleading for a brand to claim its products are ‘dairy free’ while on the same label issuing a ‘made in a factory where milk is used’ warning? A new opinion piece.



a2 Milk™ launched in the UK five years ago with celebrity endorsement but not much scientific support. In recent years, a few studies have been forthcoming, and the brand has paid for dozens of advertorials and blogs – but does a1 protein intolerance even exist, can a2 Milk™ really solve digestive problems, and can the marketing cause confusion to those with milk allergies? Read more here.



Introducing the new release of The Beginner’s Guide to Histamine Intolerance, by Dr Janice Joneja – one of the world’s foremost experts on this curious, little-known food intolerance. Might you be effected by excess histamine in the diet. If so, how can you find out – and what can you do about it? This book explores what you need to know. Review here.



Gluten free liquorice is not always easy to find, but there are brands which use rice or corn rather than wheat in their confectionary. Here we round up some of the best on the market, in the UK, Europe and US.



PPD is a potentially dangerous allergen, found in many hair dyes, which can cause extremely serious reactions. This article looks at the problem, and lists some PPD-free hair colour recommendations for you to try.




For more articles / blog posts, click here.

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