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 alternative for children with cow's milk allergy," Prof. Katz says.
At this point, he can't say how much formula is needed to produce the protective effect, but the pediatrician suggests a single bottle-feed at night for those mothers who are breastfeeding. More conclusive studies will be needed to provide a definite recipe.
Counselling the WHO
The Tel Aviv University study provides invaluable information for lactation specialists, and possibly for the World Health Organization, which currently recommends that a woman switch from breast to bottle at the three-to-five month period. It is exactly this age period that Prof. Katz found to be the worst time to expose a baby to cow's milk. If not exposed earlier, he suggests waiting until the child is one year old to introduce cow's milk into the diet.
The study also provides the most conclusive results on the incidence of allergy to cow's milk protein in babies and children. In a given population, the rates of allergy are still quite high — 0.5% in Prof. Katz's estimation — but much lower than the two-to-four percent documented in other literature.
More research is needed on how early feeding of cow's milk could protect a child into their teen and adult years from the common cow’s milk allergy. Meanwhile, Prof. Katz suggests a feed of high-quality formula every night after birth — giving Dad an opportunity to enjoy some quality time with baby as well, he points out.
Keep up with the latest AFTAU news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AFTAUnews
George Hunka | EurekAlert!
How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego
22.03.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences