ß-lactoglobulin and milk allergy

ß-lactoglobulin and milk allergy

Milk is a calcium-rich food with an important contribution to vitamins A and D, vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium, carbohydrates or carbohydrates such as lactose, lipids and fats.


Allergy to cow's milk proteins, is it curable?

Allergy to cow’s milk proteins, is it curable?

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Caseins make up 80% of the total and whey proteins make up 20%; all except ß-lactoglobulin are present in human milk. As this is one of the first foods introduced into an infant’s diet, the cow protein allergy (APLV) is usually one of the first to appear, affecting 2% of the population.

What is ß-lactoglobulin?

ß-lactoglobulin is the main whey protein in cow’s milk and accounts for about 10% of total milk protein. It is found in the milk of many mammalian species, and while it is the most abundant protein in ruminant whey, it is the only one not found in breast milk.

According to research published in Frontiers, early work on the nature of this protein indicated that it contains a good amount of essential amino acidswhich is why its nutritional role stands out, particularly as an important source of bioactive peptides.

But there is also strong evidence that milk allergy, particularly in infants, is due to the presence of ß-lactoglobulin, which has been identified as one of the major immunogenic proteins in cow’s milk and would therefore contribute to cow’s milk allergy.

As a serum protein, ß-lactoglobulin is thermosensitive and Cooking changes its allergenicitywhich would explain why milk processed at high temperatures is better tolerated.

The most common symptoms of an allergy to ß-lactoglobulin

Cow protein allergy (ALPV) is an immune-based adverse reaction by the body to proteins in this food. It occurs when an allergic person’s immune system responds inadequately and fails to recognize the milk proteins.

The immune response can be of two types:

  • IgE-mediated milk allergy: It is the most common in milk and is produced by the antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). It is responsible for immediate reactions, usually within the first hour after ingestion.
  • Non-IgE-mediated milk allergy: less common, produced by various immunological mechanisms.

The reactions are varied and can be milder to more severe depending on the degree of sensitization and the amount of food consumed. The most common in IgE-mediated allergy are:

  • skin symptoms: hives, pruritus (itching) in the mouth, redness.
  • indigestion: Vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea are the most common.
  • respiratory symptoms: Rhinitis or asthma are the most common reactions.
  • anaphylaxis: In the most severe cases, anaphylactic reactions, which may involve more than two organs, can cause vascular collapse.

How to avoid an allergy to cow proteins

The indicated treatment is to avoid cow’s milk and other herbivorous mammals and any dairy products or other foods that contain milk proteins.

Whey proteins from cow’s milk, the main allergens, as we have already seen, including ß-lactoglobulin, are found in all dairy products, such as:

  • question
  • butter
  • creams for cooking
  • yogurt
  • Ice
  • cake shop
  • kefir

People with a milk protein allergy should follow in addition to not eating these dairy products a diet without milk of animal origin (cow, goat, sheep, etc.), as well as foods containing milk or its proteins:

  • Smoothies, Puddings, Puddings, Milk Juices
  • Cereal porridge and milk glasses
  • Sweets: milk chocolate, nougat, some candies, etc.
  • Fiambres and sausages such as cooked ham or turkey, pies, sausages, sausage, chorizo ​​​​​​or lomo.
  • Groceries such as bread, numerous sauces and broth tablets, instant soups and some canned vegetables.

As recognized by the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC), the prognosis is generally good and allergy tends to diminish over the years: It is estimated that two years after being diagnosed with an allergy to cow’s milk proteins, 70% of children are able to tolerate the consumption of dairy products.

You should take that into account Cow’s milk allergy is not the same as intolerance. The first is hypersensitivity to the proteins it contains; The second, as we have already explained in this article, consists of a lack of intake of a carbohydrate, lactose, which has nothing to do with proteins and usually manifests itself primarily in digestive problems such as diarrhea and abdominal pain.

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