Allergic Reaction To Ingredients In Optavia, explained

As soon as my wife began the Optavia diet, she started experiencing allergic symptoms.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out that these symptoms may have been caused by an allergic reaction to some of the ingredients in the Optavia food.

If you’re in a similar situation, it’s crucial to know how to manage it.

This article will provide you with a list of Optavia ingredients that may cause food intolerance or allergic reactions, along with a reference for further reading and management options.

photo of optavia products that may cause allergic reactions

Allergic reaction to ingredients In Optavia

If you’ve been curious about Optavia and potential allergic reactions to its processed food, you’re in the right place.

Did you know that food allergies are becoming more common worldwide?

According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), up to 10% of the population globally has food allergies, and an estimated 32 million Americans have food allergies.

This means that allergic reactions to any food, including processed foods like Optavia, are not uncommon.

“Each year in the U.S., 200,000 people require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food.”

Processed foods contain a variety of ingredients like artificial flavors, colorings, and preservatives that can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

For example, soy lecithin is a common ingredient in Optavia foods that can cause allergic reactions in people with soy allergies.

Similarly, monosodium glutamate (MSG) can also cause allergic reactions. That’s why it’s essential to read food labels carefully and be aware of any potential allergens in the food you eat.

What’s more, processing certain foods can also create new allergens.

For example, cooking or heating specific foods can change the proteins in them, potentially triggering an allergic reaction in some individuals.

This means that someone might have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in Optavia fuelings that they wouldn’t have had with other foods containing the same ingredient.

If you suspect you might have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in Optavia fuelings, it’s important to seek medical advice and undergo testing to identify the specific allergen.


Although Optavia food doesn’t contain aspartame, they use steviol glycosides instead as a natural sweetener.

Steviol glycosides are sweeteners made from a plant called Stevia rebaudiana.

Some people were worried that these sweeteners might cause allergies because other plants related to Stevia rebaudiana can cause allergies, like ragweed or chrysanthemum.

But, scientists did a big search to look at all the information about stevia sweeteners and found that allergic reactions to stevia are really rare.

According to a 2015 study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology by Jonathan D Urban, “there were only a few cases reported in the past before the high-purity steviol glycoside sweeteners were introduced to the market in 2008.”

Since then, many regulatory authorities around the world have said that steviol glycosides are safe to eat.

Stevia manufacturers and food allergy networks haven’t reported a lot of problems with stevia-based sweeteners, and there haven’t been any reports of stevia-related allergies in the scientific literature since 2008.

So, it’s not likely that you would have an allergic reaction to Optavia ingredients like stevia.

Of course, it’s always good to be aware of any possible allergies you might have with any food or ingredient. But for most people, stevia-based sweeteners are safe to enjoy!

Milk protein isolate

Milk protein is an ingredient in Optavia Fueling that can cause allergic reactions. This allergy is called Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA), and it’s pretty common.

According to the Clinical Pediatrics Journal, the incidence of CMPA in the first year of life is estimated to be between 2% and 7.5%. Even babies who are formula-fed or breast-fed can develop symptoms of CMPA.

What about adults?

There was a study about a 24-year-old guy who had stomach problems during exercise and after drinking cow’s milk, even though he was healthy before.

He was taking a protein supplement for bodybuilding that had whey and casein proteins for two years.

The tests showed that he had an allergy to cow’s milk, which was caused by a type of antibody called IgE.

This kind of allergy is unusual in adults.

What’s more, the researchers think that the big amount of protein in his supplements may have made him allergic to cow’s milk.

Soy protein isolate

Almost all of the Optavia Fuelings contain soy protein isolate. You can only find a handful soy-free Optavia fuelings.

It’s important to note that individuals with a soy allergy should avoid consuming this derivative as it can trigger an allergic response.

According to the article published in The Journal of Nutrition, “soy allergy is relatively common, affecting around 0.4% of children.”

It’s worth noting that soy protein isolate is highly allergenic when compared to other soy products, and it’s commonly found in processed foods like baked goods, cereals, and energy bars.

Individuals with a soy protein isolate allergy may still be able to consume soy lecithin, but this depends on the severity of their soy allergy.

For those who need alternative protein sources, legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and beans, as well as non-legume sources like quinoa, chia seeds, and hemp seeds, can be great options.

The article states that “if someone experiences an allergic reaction to soy protein isolate, the recommended treatment involves avoiding all soy products and carrying an epinephrine auto-injector in case of accidental exposure.”

Unfortunately, the study doesn’t provide information on the long-term effects of such reactions.

If someone suspects they may have a soy protein isolate allergy, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional and undergo testing for soy allergy.

Peanut flour

So, have you ever heard of peanuts or peanut butter causing allergic reactions before? Well, did you know that there is something called peanut flour that can also cause allergic reactions?

Crystal McKenna is a scientist who works at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Washington, DC. She is an expert in allergies related to food.

In her study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, a woman who was allergic to peanuts ate peanut flour by accident.

The peanut flour was found in a dry soup mix that she wasn’t aware of. After eating the soup, the woman had an allergic reaction and had to go to the emergency room.

But, don’t worry, she was treated successfully with medicine and fluids.

The company that made the soup mix didn’t even know that there was peanut flour in the flavoring they used! They had to investigate to find out.

It turns out, the woman ate about 45 milligrams of peanut protein from the flour that was in the soup.

So, the study shows that even small amounts of peanut flour can cause big allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to peanuts.

Soy lecithin

Jacqueline A Pongracic, MD is an allergist and an Internal Medicine Specialist in Chicago, IL.

She has over 38 years of experience in the medical field and is a Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics (Allergy and Immunology) at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

According to Dr. Jacqueline A. Pongracic, an expert in allergy and immunology, soy lecithin is typically derived from highly processed soy oil and contains very little soy protein, ranging from 100-500 ppm.

“While there are few case reports of allergic reactions attributed to soy lecithin, most allergists do not recommend that patients with soy allergies avoid it,” says the expert.

Online sources from organizations such as FARE, FAARP, and CoFAR indicate that soy lecithin can be safely consumed by nearly all patients with a soy allergy.

However, some products have soy lecithin in them, and we don’t know for sure if it’s safe for everyone with a soy allergy to take those medicines.

Sometimes people have had allergic reactions to those products, even though it’s rare.

So, if someone is very allergic to soy, it’s important to talk to their doctor and maybe have their first dose at the doctor’s office just to be safe.


Glycerine is a common ingredient in many Optavia products and some people may experience an allergic reaction to it.

Dennis K. Ledford, MD is a highly esteemed Professor of Internal Medicine at the College of Medicine and an expert in the field of allergy and immunology.

According to Dr. Ledford, “allergic reactions to glycerin are pretty rare because it’s a component of all cellular membranes and is used in numerous allergenic extracts both for testing and treatment.”

So, it’s insufficient molecular size to evoke an immune reaction,” says Dr. Ledford.

However, glycerin may cause an irritant reaction when used for skin testing.

This means that if someone is allergic to glycerin, they may experience some skin irritation or discomfort.

“So, if someone is concerned about a possible glycerin allergy, they could undergo skin testing with a glycerinated diluent to confirm the absence of any reactivity,” says Ledford.

It’s important to note that glycerin content of greater than 50% is prone to causing significant discomfort if injected as an immunotherapy vaccine, but the concentration used in allergy test reagents is not enough to cause a false positive reaction.

The bottom line

Having an allergic reaction to an ingredient in processed foods like Optavia fuelings is possible.

It’s essential to be aware of the ingredients in the food you consume and read food labels carefully.

By seeking medical advice and testing, you can identify specific allergens, reduce the risk of allergic reactions, and ensure your safety when consuming processed foods like Optavia.

4 thoughts on “Allergic Reaction To Ingredients In Optavia, explained”

  1. I too developed an allergy. Many of the Optavia products have soluble corn fiber. I have had eczema on my lips for 10 months now. When I eat anything with corn or a corn product it gets worse. It’s taking a while to constantly think about what I can and can not eat or use. Recently I discovered that most toothpaste has sorbitol, which is a corn product.

    I’m sad because I lost 54 pounds in a short time. But I developed allergy issues and who knows what else it did to my insides.

    • I started the Optavia program a couple of months ago and my lips have been burning on and off the whole time. I am afraid that I have some kind of allergic reaction. 🙁
      Sad too because I love the program.

  2. My lips swelled so bad that I looked like Will Smith in the movie Hitch. It was horribly painful, that was 2 weeks ago. I’m off the Optavia products and the swelling has gone down and the redness all around my mouth is lessening. My mouth and lips still burn, but I am healing. An apparent allergic reaction to the fuelings. I liked the products so this is sad, but the pain this has caused me leaves me with no choice but to eliminate these fuelings.


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