Introducing increasing amounts of foods that contain baked milk into the diets of children who have milk allergies helped a majority of them outgrow their allergies, according to a study conducted at Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Jaffe Food Allergy Institute. The data are reported in the May 23 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Researchers studied 88 children, ages 2 to 17 years old, who were diagnosed with milk allergy, evaluating their tolerance to foods containing baked milk, such as muffins, waffles and cookies. The high temperatures used in baking cause the proteins in milk to break down, reducing the allergenicity.
Over the course of five years, researchers used a series of food challenges to introduce the children to foods that had progressively less-heated forms of milk. At the end of the study period, 47 percent of the children in the experimental group could tolerate unheated milk products, such as skim milk, yogurt and ice cream, compared to only 22 percent in a control group, indicating that controlled, increased exposure to baked milk products accelerates the rate at which children outgrow their milk allergies.
"This study shows that many children with allergies do not need to completely avoid all milk products," said Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, MD, co-author of the study, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "It's also an encouraging sign that through careful medical supervision, children can grow out of their allergies much quicker."
In the study's first food challenge, children were given a plain muffin or waffle containing baked milk. Sixty five of the 88 children, approximately 75 percent, experienced no allergic reactions. Parents of those children were given specific guidelines on how to incorporate baked milk products such as muffins, cookies and cakes into their child's daily diet. The children who reacted to the muf
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