Milk Formulae in the Prevention of Food Allergy

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Because food allergy is frequent and severe, all possible means should be used to try to prevent its manifestations or at least to delay them until the child is older and stronger and therefore better able to follow an exclusion diet. The capacity of breast-feeding for preventing food allergy has been challenged in the past, but a consensus seems to be emerging now that breast-feeding can indeed prevent food allergy if it is started at birth and is exclusive for at least 4, and preferably 6, months. In the most "at-risk" babies the breast-feeding mother should try to eliminate the most potent allergens (eggs, fish, soya, nuts, and cow's milk) from her diet. If a substitute or a complement to breast milk is necessary, neither goat's milk nor soy milk formula are adequate. Heat treatment alone will not be sufficient to make cow's milk hypoallergenic. Only a combination of protein hydrolysis and managed heat treatment can make cow's milk hypoallergenic and retain its nutritional value. This nutritional value should be assessed by animal studies and also by studying infant growth. The hypoallergenicity of a formula can be studied in vitro and with animal tests, but only clinical trials on human infants will prove its efficacy.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 1991

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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