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Scientists develop method to overcome milk allergies

Category: Allergy Testing

Children who have received a positive food allergy test for milk may be able to overcome the condition through a combination of increasing exposure to the beverage and medication, according to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

More than 3 million children in the U.S. currently suffer from some form of food allergy. Milk allergies are by far the most common and affect 2.5 percent of children under age 3. The findings could give new hope to these individuals, whose condition can be severe enough to cause death.

For the study, researchers from Boston's Children's Hospital and Stanford University treated children with the drug omalizumab, a medication that builds up antibodies that are involved in allergic reactions to milk. Over the next 10 weeks, they then had the participants gradually increase their exposure to milk.

By the end of the study, nine out of the original 11 participants were able to consume milk on a regular basis without any adverse effects.

The researchers noted that this could lead to major lifestyle improvements of individuals who suffer from milk allergies, as many food products are made from the ingredient and it can be difficult to avoid entirely.

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