Relevance of Early Introduction of Cow's Milk Proteins for Prevention of Cow's Milk Allergy

Laurien Ulfman, Angela Tsuang, Aline B Sprikkelman, Anne Goh, R J Joost van Neerven

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


Food allergy incidence has increased worldwide over the last 20 years. For prevention of food allergy, current guidelines do not recommend delaying the introduction of allergenic foods. Several groundbreaking studies, such as the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy study, showed that the relatively early introduction of this allergenic food between 4-6 months of age reduces the risk of peanut allergy. However, less is known about the introduction of cow's milk, as many children already receive cow's-milk-based formula much earlier in life. This can be regular cow's milk formula with intact milk proteins or hydrolyzed formulas. Several recent studies have investigated the effects of early introduction of cow's-milk-based formulas with intact milk proteins on the development of cow's milk allergy while breastfeeding. These studies suggest that depending on the time of introduction and the duration of administration of cow's milk, the risk of cow's milk allergy can be reduced (early introduction) or increased (very early introduction followed by discontinuation). The aim of this narrative review is to summarize these studies and to discuss the impact of early introduction of intact cow's milk protein-as well as hydrolyzed milk protein formulas-and the development of tolerance versus allergy towards cow's milk proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 27-Jun-2022


  • Allergens
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity/prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Milk
  • Milk Hypersensitivity/epidemiology
  • Milk Proteins
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity

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