Allergies and Growth: Nutritional Imbalance Revealed - EMJ

Allergies and Growth: Nutritional Imbalance Revealed

1 Mins
Allergy & Immunology

RECENT research has found that completely avoiding milk products due to cow’s milk allergy (CMA) can impact growth and bone health. This avoidance leads to a decrease in calcium balance, and alters bone metabolism.

Cansin Sackesen, Division of Paediatric Allergy, Koç University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Türkiye, and colleagues, aimed to examine various biochemical factors that can forecast changes in bone health, and their connection to height, weight, and dietary intake.

The study involved 69 individuals without allergies, 66 children with only CMA, and 59 children with multiple food allergies (FA). Height, weight, and BMI Z-Scores were tracked based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standards for age. The food record of participants for 3 consecutive days was analysed to assess the nutritional content of meals. Additionally, blood samples were taken to measure levels of calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone (PTH).

Compared to the control group, both CMA and multiple FA groups showed lower Z-Scores for weight, height, and BMI (P<0.001, P=0.004, and P=0.002, respectively). Moreover, nutritional intake of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins B2 and B12, niacin, calcium, and phosphorus were notably lower, both in CMA and multiple FA groups, compared to controls. In infants (≤2 years old), although blood calcium levels were within the normal range, they were significantly lower in both CMA and multiple FA groups, compared to controls (P<0.001). Among children over 2 years, PTH levels were significantly higher in these groups, compared to controls (P=0.003).

This study uncovered that children suffering from either isolated CMA or FA exhibit significant nutritional deficiencies, slowed growth, and imbalanced bone metabolism. This was evidenced by lower blood calcium levels and higher PTH levels.



Sackesen C et al. The association of milk and multiple food avoidance with growth parameters in infants and children. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2024;DOI:10.1016/j.anai.2024.02.023.




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