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!
Indications of Psychosis Appear in Cortical Folding
26.04.2018 | Universität Basel
GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Life Sciences
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering