Drinking milk may lessen allergy symptoms


Source of Article:  http://media.www.jhunewsletter.com/media/storage/paper932/news/2008/11/20/Science/Drinking.Milk.May.Lessen.Allergy.Symptoms-3555981.shtml

By Stephen Berger

Issue date: 11/20/08


A new study from Hopkins and Duke University pediatricians suggests that giving increasing amounts of milk to children with milk allergies can actually lessen or erase the symptoms of the allergy over time.

Doctors recruited 19 children between the ages of six and 17. The study was randomized and double-blind: Some of the participants received milk, while others received a placebo. Neither the children nor their parents or doctors knew what they were taking.

After four months of receiving steadily increasing doses of milk powder, children in both groups were tested with milk to rate the severity of their allergic reactions.

Oral immunotherapy, as this method is called, is gaining popularity as a way of lessening severe allergies.

There is some evidence that repeated exposure to an allergen can decrease an immune response. The immune system can become habituated to certain chemical substances.

The study appears online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.



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