Does Drinking Milk Cause Allergies?
Recently, Best Food Facts received a few questions about milk related to allergies and why humans are the only mammals that drink milk.
Dr. Stephen Taylor: Professor of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Best Food Facts: Does drinking milk and using other dairy products tend to cause allergies in children?
Dr. Taylor: “Yes, of course, drinking milk causes milk allergy. It is impossible to become allergic to milk if you are never exposed.” Dr. Taylor explained that the allergy is caused by drinking milk from a different species, i.e. cow’s milk.
Dr. Ann Marcina: Research and Teaching Associate at Penn State
Best Food Facts: Why are we the only mammals that drink milk after we are weaned from our mothers?
“The simple answer is: because we can. It is a food that's available to us,” replied Dr. Macrina. She describes the hunter-gatherer times when people consumed what was available. With the domestication of cattle, milk was another product that became available. Dr. Macrina added, “Milk is a nutritious food - in addition to calcium, it contains a good amount of magnesium and potassium, two minerals that most people don’t consume in sufficient quantities. It also contains high-quality protein and some of the fatty acids in milk have health-promoting effects. If you’re trying to reduce fat intake, you can always opt for low fat or skim varieties.”
If you wish to learn more, or have questions, feel free to submit a question to the experts!
Poll Question: Do you think the FDA should allow artificial sweeteners to be added to milk without front-of-packaging labeling?