Food allergy in breastfeeding babies. Hidden allergens in human milk

Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016 Jul;48(4):123-8.


Backgorund: Food allergy is a rare disorder among breastfeeding babies.

Objective: Our aim was to identify responsible allergens in human milk.

Methods: We studied babies developing allergic symptoms at the time they were breastfeeding. Skin prick tests (SPT) were performed with breast milk and food allergens. Specific IgE was assessed and IgE Immunoblotting experiments with breast milk were carried out to identify food allergens. Clinical evolution was evaluated after a maternal free diet.

Results: Five babies had confirmed breast milk allergy. Peanut, white egg and/or cow's milk were demonstrated as the hidden responsible allergens. No baby returned to develop symptoms once mother started a free diet. Three of these babies showed tolerance to other food allergens identified in human milk.

Conclusion: A maternal free diet should be recommended only if food allergy is confirmed in breastfed babies.

Keywords: breastfed infants; food allergy; hidden allergens; human milk.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Breast Feeding / adverse effects*
  • Egg Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Egg Hypersensitivity / diet therapy
  • Egg Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Infant
  • Intradermal Tests
  • Male
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / diet therapy
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Milk Proteins / adverse effects
  • Milk Proteins / immunology*
  • Milk, Human / immunology*
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / diet therapy
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors


  • Allergens
  • Milk Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E