The 1 Side Effect Of Sesame Seeds You Must Know About Today

Medically Reviewed by Sarah Spann, Adv Dip (Nut Med), mATMS
Written by Ravi Teja Tadimalla, Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health

Sesame seeds offer an array of health benefits. They are a part of many different cuisines. But one must also be aware of the side effects of sesame seeds associated with overconsumption. They may also trigger allergies in a few. In fact, there is a rise in sesame allergies in the United States. Continue reading to know more about the potential negative effects of sesame seeds.

In This Article

What Is The Side Effect Of Sesame Seeds?
What Are The Symptoms Of Anaphylaxis?
How To Prevent Sesame Allergy
Any Other Precautions?

What Is The Side Effect Of Sesame Seeds?

There is one side effect of sesame seeds – anaphylaxis, which can manifest in various forms.


Sesame seeds can cause anaphylaxis


Anaphylaxis is a reaction that occurs when the immune system releases high levels of certain powerful chemicals. These chemicals induce what is called an anaphylactic shock in medical terms. This shock can drastically lower your blood pressure and even constrict your airways, obstructing the breathing process.

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, anaphylaxis can be a serious condition, and individuals need prompt medical intervention (1).

Though this is the primary (and most often, the only) side effect of anaphylaxis, it can show up in various ways.

What Are The Symptoms Of Anaphylaxis?

Sesame allergy (or anaphylaxis) can manifest in a number of symptoms. These include:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Coughing
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Itchy mouth
  • Flushing in the face

Knowing the symptoms is one thing. And knowing how to prevent them is another.

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How To Prevent Sesame Allergy

Avoiding sesame is one great way to prevent the allergy. This means that you need to avoid all foods made with sesame or sesame seed oil. These include the following:

  • Baked foods like cookies, buns, bagels, and buns. Certain bread products also contain sesame.
  • Snacks like granola bars, candy, and pretzels.
  • Middle Eastern foods like halvah, tahini, and hummus.

Check the food labels. Also, since sesame can even be a hidden food allergen, avoid foods with unclear product labels or no ingredients list.

Any Other Precautions?

Yes, people with gout and Wilson’s disease (a condition that leads to the accumulation of copper) should avoid sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds contain oxalates, which might aggravate gout symptoms. The seeds are also rich in copper, which is why anyone suffering from Wilson’s disease must abstain from consuming the seeds.

Some research suggests that sesame seeds can lower blood sugar levels. This may not be good news for people on blood sugar medication as the seeds might lower blood sugar way too much. Stay in touch with your doctor if you are taking blood sugar medication.

Even pregnant and breastfeeding women must stay away from the seeds as there is not enough information if they are safe during this period.

Sesame seeds have been used in folk medicine for their medicinal properties. Their nutrient and fiber content offers several health benefits. However, overconsumption of sesame seeds may lead to allergies. The one major side effect of sesame seeds is anaphylaxis. It can block your airways, lower blood pressure levels, and obstruct the breathing process. People with sesame allergies may also experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, hives, itchy mouth, and coughing. Hence, limit their consumption and consult your doctor in case of emergencies.


1. “Anaphylaxis”. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.

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Sarah Spann

(Adv Dip (Nut Med), mATMS)
Sarah Spann is a clinical nutritionist specializing in gut health and is based in Brisbane, Australia. She is dedicated to... more