Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Milk hypersensitivity in young adults

Abstract

Objective: To estimate the prevalence of milk hypersensitivity in Finnish adults.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Subjects: Two hundred men and 206 women aged 27 y randomly recruited from the population register in southwestern Finland.

Interventions: The subjects were interviewed about their dairy product consumption, abdominal discomfort after dairy product intake and lactose intolerance. From serum samples, serum reactivity to milk protein and milk-specific IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgA were measured.

Results: About 20% of the subjects reported abdominal discomfort after dairy product intake, whereas only 6.4% had been diagnosed to have lactose intolerance. The amount of milk consumed correlated well with the serum assay results in subjects reporting abdominal discomfort but not in subjects who were free from these symptoms. Among subjects with no record of dairy product restriction or lactose intolerance, those experiencing abdominal discomfort after dairy product intake had significantly higher serum reactivity to milk protein than those without such discomfort. The concentrations of serum milk-specific antibodies did not differ between these two groups. The prevalence of milk hypersensitivity in this population was estimated to be 3–6%.

Conclusions: Milk hypersensitivity may be as common in adults as in infants. The measurement of serum reactivity to milk protein may prove useful in screening milk hypersensitivity in subjects who have not restricted their dairy product consumption.

Sponsorship: The study was supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Turku University Foundation, and Social Insurance Institution, Finland.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Guarantor: L Pelto.

Contributions: All authors contributed to the design, execution, analysis of data and writing up of this study: Specifically O Impivaara: clinical assessment; S Salminen: overall conduct of the study; T Poussa: statistical data; R Seppänen: nutritional data; and E-M Lilius: immunological methods.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pelto, L., Impivaara, O., Salminen, S. et al. Milk hypersensitivity in young adults. Eur J Clin Nutr 53, 620–624 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600819

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600819

Keywords

  • antibodies
  • gastrointestinal symptoms
  • lactose intolerance
  • milk hypersensitivity
  • prevalence
  • sampling studies

This article is cited by

Search

Quick links