Cow's milk allergy

What is cow's milk allergy?

Milk allergy is the most common food allergy in children, occurring in between 2% and 3% of infants in developed countries. There are a number of proteins in cow's milk which can elicit an allergic response. The most prominent protein in cow's milk which might cause an allergic reaction is called alpha-casein. Casein is the curd that forms when milk sours. Whey, another important protein in milk, is the watery part left when the curd is removed.

Cow's milk allergy is rare in children over 3 years of age.

It is important to realise the difference between a milk allergy and lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is due to a lack of appropriate enzymes to break down lactose, and common signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, or gas. The difference is explained in more detail further on in this article.

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