Scientists dismiss claim that early exposure to cow’s milk boosts tolerance

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk Infant

A group of German scientists have published a paper dismissing the suggestion that giving newborns cow’s milk could help promote dairy tolerance.

Writing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology​, the scientists replied to an earlier article in the same journal that had recommended early exposure (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology ​vol. 126, pages 77 – 82).

The authors of the original study, which was based on the self-reporting of the parents of some 13,019 infants, concluded that “supplementation at birth with CMP should be recommended to promote its tolerance.”


But writing in the latest issue of the journal, a group pediatric scientists claimed that the study contained a number of severe limitations such as a reliance on self-reporting by parents and a failure to account for family history.

The scientists added that a conflict of interest might be assumed because of funding received from the dairy industry.

To evaluate the results further, they carried out their own analysis of data from the German Infant Nutritional Intervention study.

The results, which were based on a study of high-risk infants followed over time with weekly diaries, study center visits and systematic measurement of intolerance, did not confirm the conclusions of the earlier research.

The authors concluded therefore that it cannot be recommended to deviate from the recommendation to breast-feed exclusively for the first 4 months of life. The World Health Organization even promotes exclusive breast-feeding for at least 6 months.

Source: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Supplementation with cow’s milk at birth is not ​recommended
Authors: Sibylle Koletzko, Birgit Filipiak-Pittroff, Andrea von Berg, Armin Grübl, Joachim Heinrich, Ursula Krämer, H.-Erich Wichmann, Carl-Peter Bauer, Dietrich Reinhardt, Dietrich Berdel

Related topics Ingredients Fresh Milk

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