Many doctors suggest that whole cow's milk be avoided in the early months of an infant's feeding. Lactation specialists go even further, counseling "mother's milk only" until baby starts eating solid food. But new research from Tel Aviv University says that mothers who feed their babies cow's milk in the first 15 days of life may be protecting their children from dangerous allergies later on.
Prof. Yitzhak Katz of Tel Aviv University's Department of Pediatrics, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, has found that babies who are fed cow milk protein early, in the form of infant formula, seem to be protected from developing an allergy to the same protein later in life. "Women who regularly (daily) introduced their babies to cow milk protein early, before 15 days of life, almost completely eliminated the incidence of allergy to cow milk protein in their babies," he reports.
His findings are reported in a recent issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The first fifteen days
In the study, the longest and largest prospective study of its kind, the researchers looked at the feeding history of 13,019 infants. Children who were started on infant formula containing cow's milk protein in the first through the 15th days of life were almost completely protected from developing Cows Milk Protein Allergy (CMA) 19 times more protected than babies fed cow's milk protein after 15 days. CMA can be dangerous to babies, leading to rashes, respiratory problems, shock and even death, so this boost to the immune system early in life acts as a "vaccination."
The surprising results from the study emerged when Prof. Katz and his colleagues set out to find if CMA was accompanied by an allergy to soy milk as well. "We weren't even looking for a risk factor," he says, adding that they found no link between cow's milk and soy allergies, despite previous evidence that had proposed a link. "Soy is still a reasonable feeding alterna
|Contact: George Hunka|
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