Fewer infants found to be allergic to milk and soya – and the benefits of early introduction of cow’s milk

A team under Dr Yitzhak Katz of Tel Aviv University in Israel, studying 13,000 infants to establish how many suffered from cow’s milk allergy and how many of these children were also allergic to soya, found that only 0.5% tested positive for the milk allergy (far lower than previous population estimates of 1–3%) and that there seemed to be no link between cow’s milk and soya allergies despite previous estimate that up to 30% of cow’s milk allergic children were also allergic to soya.

They also, and to their surprise, found that infants who were first fed cow's milk at the age of 15 days or more had a 19 times greater risk of developing cow's milk allergy than those who were fed it during the first two weeks of life – although they warned that early feeding of cow's milk is no guarantee that a child won't get the allergy later.

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, online June 11, 2010.

Courtesy of Reuters

First published June 2010

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