The number of recalled products is growing each year, and as that number increases, so do the health risks.
All of us have a personal food allergy or sensitivity. A food allergy is an immune system failure to respond to the food that it should be reacting to. A food allergy can be severe and debilitating as it can cause serious symptoms and require multiple doctors visits to manage.
One of the most common allergies is to milk. Milk is a very high protein food and can be very inflammatory. The main culprit of allergic reactions to milk is cow’s milk (the milk used for infant formula). Most of the people who are allergic to cow’s milk are actually sensitive to a specific type of milk protein called casein, which is why they tend to run a fever when they’re allergic.
If you’re allergic to milk, you’re also probably susceptible to another condition called cow’s milk protein allergy. This condition causes your body to react to casein proteins in milk and make you sick. A casein protein allergy is very similar to a milk allergy, but it can be much more severe.
We can see from the casein allergy warnings on the back of a bottle that casein proteins are responsible for the most common allergy in infants.
While casein proteins are common in all dairy products, the risk of a casein protein allergy is increased for those who are lactose intolerant or are those with co-existing allergies (like cow’s milk). In fact, a small study in India found that children who are lactose intolerant tend to have a higher risk for developing a casein protein allergy than those who are not.
That’s what the “Dairy and Casein Allergy” warning on the back of casein protein-containing capsules looks like.
It would be a mistake to assume that lactose intolerance is a sign that the child is at higher risk of developing a casein allergy. In fact, a study from the Australian Medical Association showed that over half of individuals who had a reaction to casein protein-containing capsules were lactose intolerant or co-existing allergies. What this means is that a casein protein allergy isn’t necessarily a sign that the child should avoid casein rich foods.
Casein protein is an enzyme that’s found in milk, cheese, and meat. It’s also found in the human body as a component of casein protein-containing capsules. Because casein protein and casein protein-containing capsules are so closely linked, a little bit of information about the capsules can be very helpful.