Understanding milk protein allergies

There is a common belief that goat milk is a suitable alternative for infants or children with cow milk proteins allergy (CMPA). Goat milk and goat milk formula are not recommended for infants or children with CMPA and should not be used for the treatment of allergy symptoms. Only extensively hydrolysed or amino acid-based formulas should be used for the dietary management of infants with diagnosed CMPA.1

There is evidence suggesting that the strength and type of the immune response to goat and cow milk might still differ. For example, children allergic to cow milk required nearly five times more goat milk to trigger an adverse reaction.2 In another study, 25% of children allergic to cow milk did not react to goat milk at all.3 Children with allergy to cow milk proteins had a lower response to goat milk containing low amounts of αs1-casein.4 Similarly, studies with animals have also shown that lower levels of αs1-casein in goat milk resulted in fewer allergic reactions.5However, further research is required and will help to understand how infants might respond differently to goat or cow milk formula.

1 AAP 2000; Koletzko et al, 2012
2 Bellioni-Businco et al 1999
3 Infante et al 2003
4 Ballabio et al, 2011; Albenzio et al 2012; Lisson et al 2014
5 Bevilacqua et al 2001; Hodgkinson et al 2012

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