Many people who go gluten free also go on a casein free diet. Casein is a dairy protein most often associated with cow’s milk consumption. You might have read or seen information on the gluten/casein free diet (GFCF) on internet forums for parents who have children with autism, ADD, and ADHD. Many of these children tend to see improvement when going gluten free and see additional improvement removing casein.
Many breastfeeding moms are told that their babies are allergic to their breast milk. A recent study sheds more light on a possible mechanism behind this…
Cow’s milk proteins (CMPs) are among the best characterized food allergens. Cow’s milk contains more than twenty five different proteins, but only whey proteins alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, bovine serum albumin (BSA), and lactoferrin, as well as the four caseins, have been identified as allergens. Aim of this study was to investigate by proteomics techniques cow’s milk allergens in human colostrum of term and preterm newborns’ mothers, not previously detected, in order to understand if such allergens could be cause of sensitization during lactation. Term colostrum samples from 62 healthy mothers and preterm colostrum samples from 11 healthy mothers were collected for this purpose. The most relevant finding was the detection of the intact bovine alpha-S1-casein in both term and preterm colostrum. Using this method, which allows direct proteins identification, beta-lactoglobulin was not detected in any of colostrum samples. According to our results bovine alpha 1 casein that is considered a major cow’s milk allergen is readily secreted in human milk: further investigations are needed in order to clarify if alpha-1-casein has a major role in sensitization or tolerance to cow’s milk of exclusively breastfed predisposed infants.
Source: J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2012 Jul-Sep;26(3 Suppl):39-42.
The Gluten Free Warrior’s Comment:
Cow dairy is one of the most common allergens in the U.S. Babies are no exception to this rule. Milk is often viewed as an essential staple food for kids. We have been told over and over again that we need dairy for calcium, and although dairy does contain calcium, there are many other foods rich in calcium as well.
Today’s modern dairy comes from genetically tampered with cows. The casein in the dairy from these cows is resistant to digestion and has been linked to autoimmune disease. The casein from these cows for many causes the same types of symptoms we see gluten cause. This same type of casein is one of the most common dairy based protein allergies known.
In my clinical experience, I have never seen a baby be allergic to mother’s milk. The typical scenario is that the mother is consuming foods that the baby is reactive to. Once the mother changes her diet, the baby’s symptoms tend to dissipate. The study above demonstrates that on of the most allergenic dairy proteins (casein) passes into mother’s milk. The take away message is that if the baby is having allergy symptoms while breastfeeding, mom should look at her diet and make adjustments.
Common symptoms of allergy reaction in infants are:
- Chronic diaper rash
- Sneezing fits after meals
- Chronic facial rubbing (can indicate itchy eyes)
- Chronic gas
Bottom line – if you suspect that your baby is allergic to your breast milk, don’t stop breast feeding. Instead look at your diet for foods that could be a problem for the baby. The most common food problems are gluten, dairy, sugar, beans or legumes, shellfish, and cruciferous vegetables. For more information on how gluten can affect children go here <<<
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