What is cow’s milk protein allergy ?
What is the difference with lactose intolerance?
Cow’s milk protein allergy has nothing to do with lactose intolerance.
|Lactose intolerance||Allergy to milk proteins|
|Affected population||Adults mainly||Mainly infants and children under the age of 3|
|Cause||Triggering an immune response against milk proteins|
Most vulnerable: infants and young children
|Skin manifestations||Redness, itching and swelling||50% of children with CMPA|
Vomiting, colic and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux)
Blood in stools
Interruption or decline in growth curve
|25 to 50% of children with CMPA|
|Respiratory manifestations||Wheezing, asthma||Rare|
What is the cause ?
While beta lactoglobulin has long been considered the main culprit in causing CMPA, more recent studies now also point to caseins.
Solutions to get around cow’s milk protein allergy
Milk proteins are essential for feeding infants and young children, which is why there are alternatives, which may be prescribed by pediatricians depending on the severity of the allergy.3
First-line solution: Milk protein hydrolysates (MPHs)
Protein hydrolysates are obtained by hydrolysis of cow’s milk proteins.
Hydrolysis consists of cutting proteins at the peptide bonds, in order to obtain smaller molecules.
MPHs thus contain peptides smaller than 2000 Daltons, improving their digestibility and reducing their allergenicity.4
These hydrolysate-based formulations are offered by several infant milk brands on the market.5
Amino acid-based formulas
In 10% of children with CMPA, some symptoms may persist despite the use of hydrolysates.3
An alternative solution is to further reduce the size of the molecules so that they are not recognized by the child’s immune system.
Amino acid-based formulations may then be prescribed by a healthcare professional.