Background: IgE-mediated cow's milk-allergic (IgE-CMA) patients provide a valuable model for studying the relationship between dairy intake and bone mineral density (BMD) because they are unable to consume even minor amounts of dairy foods.
Objective: To determine the effects of dairy restriction on BMD in young adult IgE-CMA patients.
Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted from July 2012 to June 2013 at the Allergy unit of the Assaf-Harofeh Medical Center. Densitometric measurements of postpubertal patients diagnosed with IgE-CMA (group I, n = 33) were compared with those of volunteers matched for age and sex without IgE-CMA (control group II, n = 24). In a second analysis, group I and II patients were compared with IgE-CMA patients who after desensitization consumed milk for 12 to 39 months before analysis (group III, n = 12).
Results: Densitometric measurements (average T scores and Z scores) of the hip, femoral neck, and lumbar spine of IgE-CMA patients were significantly lower than of those in the control group (P < .0001). A T score below -2.5 SD, identifying a risk for osteoporosis, was found in 27% of IgE-CMA patients but in none of the controls (P = .0071). Calcium intake was severely reduced in allergic patients than in controls (P < .0001). BMD measurements in group III were significantly greater than in group I (P < .0001) and unchanged from the control group.
Conclusions: Patients with IgE-CMA have a significant risk of reduced BMD and early osteoporosis, which appears to be reversible on milk desensitization. Adequate calcium intake is not achieved while on a nondairy diet, requiring investigation into optimal nutritional protocols for these patients.
Keywords: Bone mineral density; cow's milk allergy; osteoporosis.
Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.