Allergies, Alpha-Gal, & Ostrich Meat
What is Alpha-Gal Syndrome?
Alpha-Gal syndrome is a type of food allergy caused by an immune system reaction to the carbohydrate Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal). Alpha-gal carbohydrates are found in the cells of mammals that humans eat, like beef cattle.
People aren't born with Alpha- gal syndrome; they develop it after a bite from a lone star tick containing the alpha-gal carbohydrate. The tick bite triggers your immune system to react to alpha-gal. The antibodies your body makes to protect you from the tick bite stay with you and have the unfortunate side effect of causing an allergic reaction to red meats from mammals, like beef, venison, or bison.
What are the symptoms of Alpha-Gal Syndrome?
An alpha-gal allergic reaction is delayed compared to most food allergies and typically appears 3-6 hours after eating red meat. Common symptoms include:
- hives and itching;
- stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea;
- swelling of the lips or face;
- sneezing; and
- anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.
Can I eat red meat if I have Alpha-Gal Syndrome?
The alpha-gal allergy is specific to mammalian meats and products only. Since ostrich is a bird, not a mammal, people who suffer from alpha-gal can eat ostrich meat and still enjoy the red meat flavor they love without experiencing an allergic reaction.
Is ostrich good for people with other allergies and digestive challenges?
Yes! In fact, this is how the Founder of AOF, Alex McCoy, first discovered ostrich. He was training for a long-distance Ironman triathlon and found that most red meats were upsetting his stomach and holding back his training, performance, and overall gut health. He started incorporating ostrich into his diet and noticed dramatic improvements, literally overnight.
Alex isn't the only one, we've found that many consumers with all sorts of allergies, sensitive stomachs, or IBS, often can’t comfortably eat other red meats like beef or bison, but they can eat ostrich and feel great afterward.
Visit our Why Ostrich page and our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about how ostrich is different from other red meats and why incorporating it into your diet is likely to make a significant positive change in your health.
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