Children with cow’s milk allergy have significantly lower calcium intake and bone mineral density (BMD) scores compared with children without this allergy, according to a study published in Pediatrics.
The study included 52 children with cow’s milk allergy and 29 children with non-cow’s milk allergies to serve as a control group. The researchers measured BMD using dual energy radiograph absorptiometry and measured vitamin D levels using plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Participants’ intake of calcium and vitamin D was recorded, in addition to their compliance to calcium and vitamin D supplementation.
Children with cow’s milk allergy had significantly lower lumbar spine BMD z scores compared with controls. While none of the control participants had low bone mass, it was detected in 6% of the participants with cow’s milk allergy. Children with cow’s milk allergy had significantly lower calcium intake compared with controls, but vitamin D intake was not reduced.
Fewer than half of the children with cow’s milk allergy reported taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. Among those who did, however, the adherence rates were high (mean compliance rate: 5.5 days per week).
“These prepubertal children with persistent [cow’s milk allergy] had lower lumbar spine BMD z scores than children with [non-cow’s milk allergies], which likely resulted from lower calcium intake,” wrote the researchers.
- Mailhot G, Perrone V, Alos N, et al. Cow’s milk allergy and bone mineral density in prepubertal children. Pediatrics. Published online ahead of print April 18, 2016.