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Milk is safe, even encouraged, for some children after treatment for milk allergy
Date:8/18/2009

s. Of the 13, six showed no reaction after drinking 16,000 mg (16 ounces) of milk, twice the highest tolerated dose during the initial study. Seven children had reactions at doses ranging from 3,000 mg to 16,000 mg. The reactions ranged from oral itch to hives, to sneezing to mild abdominal pain, but none was serious. One child developed cough requiring medications.

Investigators also continued to follow three children who could not tolerate doses higher than 2,540 mg (2.5 ounces) the cutoff set by the investigators at the beginning of the follow-up which made them ineligible to continue the at-home part of the study. All three continued to drink milk daily with minimal reactions, and two of the children were eventually able to increase their consumption beyond 2,540 mg.

Sensitivity to milk was also measured with traditional skin prick testing, which showed gradual decreases in reactions over time. Seven children had no reactions at eight to 15 months of follow-up. Blood levels of milk IgE antibodies slowly decreased over time too, another sign of better tolerance to milk. At the same time, a different type of antibody, IgG4 one that signals immunity to a particular allergen went up over time, a maker of improved tolerance.

Children and their parents also kept daily logs of milk and dairy consumption and recorded symptoms, such as hives, abdominal pain, sneezing and cough. During the first three months, consumption of milk triggered reactions 49 percent of the time, with some children experiencing as few as two reactions for every 100 doses of milk consumed. The figure dropped to 23 percent in the subsequent three months, and some children had no reactions at all.

Milk allergy is the most common type of food allergy. Three million U.S. children have food allergies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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Contact: Ekaterina Pesheva
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-516-4996
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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