Have you seen this study?
I was always wondering why I can't tolerate even trace amounts of coconut products. My stomach just didn't like them. Then I discovered that I have a similar reaction to olive oil and the only explanation seemed to be salicylate sensitivity, since both are very rich in salicylates.
But yesterday I ate a whole jar of green olives....and nothing happened at all!
After some research and friendly support of you paleo hackers I found out that (especially cheap) olive oil is often diluted with hazelnut oil, or other nut oils.
And this led me to this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10359903
Well it had neither a control group, nor a lot of test subjects, nevertheless it's very interesting:
"The reduced coconut protein at 35 kd was previously shown to be immunologically similar to soy glycinin (legumin group of seed storage proteins). The clinical reactivity in these 2 patients is likely due to cross-reacting IgE antibodies primarily directed against walnut, the original clinical allergy reported, and most likely to a walnut legumin-like protein."
I'm allergic to dairy (I suppose BSA) and have a cross reaction to soy. According to this study it might be possible to have a cross reaction to coconut or legumes as well.
That was a real punch for me, it seems that the most hated legume (soy) and one of the most loved paleo foods (coconut) actually share some protein similarities.
I don't intend to scare anybody and I admire those who do well with coconut products. But for some people like me with an allergic background, it is important to know that certain cross reactions exist.
This is something I think is important to know, because I think there are lots of people out there that really struggle with coconut. Get GERD after eating it etc. And the standard response is: "yeah, typical die-off reaction, keep going.."
On the other hand the study says: "Coconut allergy in patients with tree nut allergy is rare; these are the first 2 patients ever reported, and therefore there is no general indication to advise patients with tree nut allergy to avoid coconut."
So it might not be the biggest problem ever ;)