Slow and Steady Wins the Milk Allergy Race

Allergies may be overcome by baked milk

(RxWiki News) In "The Tortoise and the Hare," the tortoise's slow, steady pace won the race with the too-quick-to-assume victory hare. This slow and steady approach seems to help kids in outgrowing dairy allergies.

The Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, part of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, found that regularly feeding kids with milk allergies increasing amounts of food containing baked milk may assist a majority in overcoming their allergies.

"Many children with milk allergies can eat some milk products."

Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, M.D., co-author of the study, and an associate professor of pediatrics, allergy and immunology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, reports that many children with allergies do not have to completely avoid all milk products.

It may even be that through careful medical supervision, children will be able to grow out of their allergies at a quicker pace.

Dr. Nowak-Wegrzyn recommends continued research to find the best possible way to apply these clinical findings in real life. Her ultimate goal is to find different therapies to cure food allergies.

The study's first challenge had the children eating a muffin or waffle containing baked milk. Seventy-five percent of the children had no allergic reactions.

Parents were then taught how to successfully incorporate baked milk into their child's diet. Of course, the children who had an allergic reaction were told to avoid baked milk.

After at least six months, children who passed the initial challenge returned to the clinic for the second food test: cheese pizza. Baked cheese is cooked at a lower temperature than other milk products and contains a higher amount of milk protein, making it a more difficult challenge than consuming muffins.

Seventy-eight percent of the children in this group experienced no allergic reactions and were given the green light to add baked cheese to their diet. Participants who had an allergic reaction to baked cheese continued eating muffins and returned after a period of six to 12 months to be re-tested with pizza. After the second chance with pizza, children who showed no allergic reaction continued with the study.

After about three years of adding baked cheese and baked milk to their diet, the study participants returned for the final food challenge: unheated milk, such as yogurt, ice cream and skim milk.

Of those left in the study, 60 percent did not have an allergic reaction to the unheated milk products.

The study involved 88 children ages 2 through 17, all of whom had been diagnosed with milk allergies. 

These data are reported in the May 23 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Review Date: 
July 3, 2011