Study co-author Dr. Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York studied 88 children ages 2-17 who were diagnosed with milk allergy, to evaluate their tolerance to foods containing baked milk, such as muffins, waffles and cookies.
The high temperatures used in baking cause the proteins in milk to break down, reducing the allergenicity, Nowak-Wegrzyn says.
Researchers used a series of food challenges during a five-year period to introduce the children to foods that had progressively less-heated forms of milk, and at the end of the study, 47 percent of the experimental group could tolerate unheated milk products, such as skim milk, yogurt and ice cream, compared to 22 percent in a control group.
"This study shows that many children with allergies do not need to completely avoid all milk products," Nowak-Wegrzyn says in a statement. "It's also an encouraging sign that through careful medical supervision, children can grow out of their allergies much quicker."
The findings are published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
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