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Cow milk allergy linked to low bone density among children

Posted:  Monday, April 25, 2016

Implications of Cow milk allergy on bone health in children.

Allergies associated with dairy milk have far greater implications than other foods. According to a new study, cow milk allergy was found to be associated with lowered bone density among affected children due to reduced intake of dietary calcium and inadequate supplementation.

In a comparative study conducted between 2011 and 2014, 52 children aged 7 years with cow milk allergy were compared with 29 children of same age but with a different food allergy. The total body composition, blood levels of vitamin D and lumbar spine bone mineral density of the children were measured and the amount of calcium and vitamin D intake was assessed by means of questionnaires.

Results showed that the dietary calcium intake was lower than daily allowance in more than 60% of children with cow milk allergy when compared to 29% of non milk related allergy group. In addition, the prevalence of lower bone mineral density and bone mass was observed in about 6% of children with milk allergy.

Dr. Anne Des Roches of the allergy division at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Center of the University of Montreal in Canada reiterates that milk allergy among infants is one of the most prevalent of all food allergies. Addressing the issues raised by parents regarding inadequate calcium and vitamin D supply through substitutes, she suggests formula for infants and fortification through soy, rice or almond milk as an option for older kids. However the importance of consulting a nutritionalist in order to find ways of supplementation of calcium and vit D to avoid bone related problems in children with dairy allergy needs to be emphasized according to her.

Tania Winzenberg of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania in Australia comments on the results obtained and its implications saying “Low lumbar spine bone mineral density is tied to higher fracture risk for kids .Overall, the results are not surprising - as the authors indicate removing dairy from the diet has impacts on nutritional factors other than calcium and vitamin D and previous research has shown that milk avoidance is associated with lower bone mineral density in prepubertal children,"

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