What causes whey protein allergies

Milk protein allergy is a serious condition. Even tiny amounts of milk/milk proteins can elicit severe allergic reactions in sensitized individuals. Cow’s milk contains a number of diverse proteins. Caseins and the whey proteins lactoglobulin and lactalbumin are present in highest concentrations. Allergic individual may react to one or several of these milk proteins. In addition, other proteins in cow’s milk own been associated with allergic reactions.

Milk is a common ingredient in the following food: buns, cakes, cookies, meringues, potato gratins, pâtés, meatballs, hamburger, sausages, powder for gravy, legume salads, pancakes, waffles, omelet’s, sweets, toffees and chocolate.

Milk might also be an ingredient in bread, mashed potatoes, vegetable soups, stews, fruit/berry desserts, curd, vanilla cream, ready to eat dishes with meat, fish and egg as well as mayonnaise.

Bread can be brushed with milk or milk protein (casein).


The presence of milk and products thereof including lactose in food products must always be declared, see further in the Food Information Regulation (EC) no /

Examples of methods of analysis

The caseins are the dominating proteins in milk and constitute about 80 percent of the proteins. The caseins are heat stable and thus suitable for the analysis of milk/milk proteins in food.

The whey proteins are the residual proteins in milk after removal of the caseins, i.e. about 20 percent of the proteins in milk.

Lactoglobulin is one of the proteins in the whey part. Lactoglobulin is not as heat stable as the caseins but can be used as a complement for the analysis of milk in food products. The caseins are a better indicator for the presence of milk/milk proteins in compound food products unless only the whey part was included in the product to be analyzed.

Sensitive commercial ELISA test kits are available for the analysis of casein and lactoglobulin.

The limit of quantification varies somewhat between diverse test kits and depends also upon the matrix. The limit of quantification for casein is as low as mg/kg in certain matrixes.

Lactose can be quantified with an enzymatic method (lactose/galactose). The limit of quantification is just under mg/kg. The enzymatic method is not suitable for the analysis of products where lactase has been added for the hydrolysis of lactose. Such products can be analyzed with chromatographic methods love HPLC or GC.

Accredited methods should be used in official control.

The National Food Agency is accredited for analysis of casein and lactose/galactose in food.

People allergic to whey may be capable to drink newly engineered milk without the unpleasant digestive consequences, according to research released October 1.

A team of New Zealand researchers genetically engineered a cow named Daisy to produce milk free of β-lactoglobulin protein that can cause allergic skin, digestive and respiratory reactions predominantly in infants.

"Since the protein is not produced in human milk, it's not surprising that this protein may be recognized as a foreign protein in infants and cause allergies," study author and scientist at AgResearch in New Zealand Stefan Wagner told LiveScience.

Studies show that about 1 in 12 infants develops an allergic response to whey, but most infants are capable to outgrow their allergy.

For decades, food manufacturers own broken up whey protein, a stir of about 10 proteins including β-lactoglobulin, in milk products through a process called hydrolysis in an effort to decrease its allergenicity.

What causes whey protein allergies

[9 Weirdest Allergies]

"Infant formula uses hydrolyzed milk, which is supposed to be much less allergenic, but there is still residual risk to exposure of allergies," Wagner said.

Some exterior researchers expressed concern because while the milk produced by Daisy does show much less β-lactoglobulin, it held more of a non-whey protein called casein, which is also responsible for allergies. "We wouldn't ponder that this has any relevance to milk allergy; whey protein is one of numerous, numerous proteins that people can be allergic to," said Robert Wood, allergy and immunology chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, who was not involved in the new research.

Making Daisy

So instead of relying on manufacturing methods, the researchers focused on getting the source material free of whey.

To decrease whey in milk directly, the New Zealand group created a cow free of β-lactoglobulin.

To do so, they combined two tools: Nuclear transfer, a technique established during the days of cloning the renowned Dolly sheep; and RNA interference, a technique relatively new for livestock used to shut below genes.

The researchers inserted a DNA fragment into cow somatic cell lines, or those not inherited, for cow-lactating tissues; this DNA element shuts below production of β-lactoglobulin in lactating tissues. Researchers then transferred the transgenic nuclei into unfertilized egg cells that, when stimulated, became embryos that were implanted into cows —a entire of 57 cloned cow embryos.

[Genetics by the Numbers: 10 Tantalizing Tales]

The process resulted in five pregnancies — one of which was terminated to collect cells. Of the four remaining pregnancies, one resulted in offspring.

The whey-reduced milk is years away from market, if it ever makes it to grocery shelves.

"We are nowhere near any clinical tests — what we are currently doing is to show that milk from our transgenic cow is indeed less allergenic," Wagner said.

A ways to go

But why go to every the annoy of producing a transgenic cow when manufacturers can reduce whey in postproduction?

"When we process milk with heat or enzymes, we lose some of the nutrients that are essential to our body," Anower Jabed, who completed his doctoral work on the transgenic cow and is currently at the University of Aukland, told LiveScience.

"It is a way to solve the problem where we don't own to process every time."

Daisy was born unable to produce the major allergen in whey, but also born four weeks prematurely, and, to the surprise of researchers, without a tail.

"We do own evidence that suggests that the lacking tail is due to an epigenetic defect (that affects gene expression rather than the genes themselves), and we believe it is not related to the genetic modification of the calf, but this must be backed up by more results," Wagner said.

The whey-reduced milk still contained other allergenic proteins and even increased casein, the main protein that coagulates to form cheese.

However, getting cows to produce hypoallergenic milk may be far-fetched, according to some researchers.

"While it's an exciting thought, that's not going to eliminate the allergies," said Hugh Sampson, an immunologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who was not involved in the current study.

Because federal law says transgenic milk can't be consumed, the researchers aren't certain what it tastes love yet.

Jabed hopes that isn't the case in the future.

"When I started this project in , it was my dream to see a hypoallergenic cow, I wish in the future we can produce (hypoallergenic) milk and market it and see it in store shelves," he said.

The journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science published the research.

Copyright LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company.

Every rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lactose intolerance and cow's milk allergy often get mixed up. Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack of an enzyme that helps you to digest the sugar in milk. Cow&#x;s milk allergy, on the other hand, is an adverse immune reaction to proteins found in milk. They are completely unrelated conditions except that they share a common cause &#x; cow&#x;s milk and dairy products.

After returning from the Beagle expedition in , Charles Darwin wrote: "I own had a bad spell. Vomiting every day for eleven days, and some days after every meal."

Darwin struggled for more than 40 years with endless bouts of vomiting, stomach cramps, headaches, severe tiredness, skin problems, and depression.

Researchers now ponder that he had lactose intolerance, and his case is a excellent example of how easily it can be missed or misdiagnosed.

Common allergy

Cow's milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children, affecting between two and percent of infants under one, although some grow out of it by the age of five.

Symptoms include an itchy rash or swelling, stomach ache, vomiting, colic, diarrhea or constipation, and a runny nose. Symptoms can appear almost immediately or up to 72 hours after consuming cow's milk protein. This makes it hard to diagnose.

A large problem affecting infants can be gastrointestinal bleeding resulting from cow's milk allergy.

What causes whey protein allergies

Blood loss often occurs in such little quantities that it goes unnoticed but over time can cause iron-deficiency anemia.

Scientists propose that blood loss associated with cow's milk consumption during infancy may affect 40 percent of otherwise healthy infants. Exactly how cow's milk causes blood loss from the intestines is unclear but it's generally agreed that it is probably an adverse immune (allergic) reaction.

However, because healthy infants lose some blood anyway and cow's milk-induced bleeding is clinically silent and shows no other symptoms, it's hard to tell how numerous more infants than the widely accepted figure of less than 10 percent may actually be allergic to cow's milk.

What is lactose?

Lactose is the sugar in mammal's milk.

In order to release its energy, it must be broken below into its constituent simple sugars &#x; glucose and galactose &#x; so they can be absorbed. This task falls to an enzyme called lactase, produced by cells lining our little intestines

If your body doesn't produce this enzyme, then lactose travels to the large intestine where it is fermented by gut bacteria, producing hydrogen and a range of potential toxins.

Not excellent for kids

Regardless of these problems, it's simply not a excellent thought to give cow's milk to children at every as it contains virtually no iron but does contain potent inhibitors, reducing the body's ability to absorb iron from other foods in the diet.

The high protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and chloride content of cow's milk present what is called a 'high renal solute load'.

Unabsorbed solutes from the diet must be excreted by the kidneys and this can put a strain on immature kidneys, forcing them to draw water from the body thus increasing the risk of dehydration. This is why most health bodies tell that cow's milk should not be given to children under 12 months of age.

Lactase and weaning

Everyone naturally produces lactase when they are babies &#x; without it we couldn't drink our mother's milk.

However, every mammals and the vast majority of people stop producing it soon after weaning &#x; for us, around the age of two. This is the normal state for most people &#x; around 70 percent of the world's population, in fact.

In Northern Central Europe, lactose intolerance affects between two and 20 percent of people, rising to 40 percent in Mediterranean countries &#x; most common in Italy where it affects percent in some regions.

Highest rates are seen in Africa, where it affects percent of people, and Asia, where more than 90 percent of people are lactose intolerant.

Lactase persistence

So why are some people capable to digest lactose after weaning and others not?

'Lactase persistence' originates from a genetic mutation that occurred among a little number of European and African pastoral tribes within the final 5,, years &#x; in evolutionary terms, this is extremely recent history.

It provided a selective advantage to populations using dairy products, enabling them to live endless enough to own children. The average life expectancy was probably little more than 25 years, but this meant the ability to digest lactose could be passed on to subsequent generations.

Descendants of these people are still capable to consume cow's milk without suffering the symptoms of lactose intolerance. It doesn't mean, however, that it's excellent for them.

Developing allergies

Although a lot of food allergies start in childhood, you can develop them as an adult, too. Cow's milk allergy in adults is relatively rare, but symptoms tend to be much more severe than in children when they do happen, with reactions being triggered by amounts as low as milligrams of cow's milk protein.

The most severe type of allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) may involve difficulty in breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and ultimately heart failure and death.

Occasionally, cow's milk allergy can cause severe symptoms that come on suddenly, such as swelling in the mouth or throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.

What causes whey protein allergies

In such cases, immediate medical assist must be sought.

Avoiding cow's milk

The only dependable treatment for cow's milk allergy is to avoid every cow's milk and dairy products, including milk, milk powder, milky drinks, cheese, butter, margarine, yogurt, cream, and ice-cream.

Products with hidden milk content should also be avoided &#x; glance out for: casein, caseinates, hydrolyzed casein, skimmed milk, skimmed milk powder, milk solids, non-fat milk, whey, and milk solids.

People with cow's milk allergy face a similar problem as those avoiding lactose &#x; milk-based ingredients can be hard to avoid as they are commonly used in the production of so numerous foods.

It can seem a daunting prospect, having to read the ingredients labels, but most supermarkets now produce product 'free-from' lists, and numerous own their own-label range.

There are even iPhone apps available now to assist you identify ingredients by scanning the product bar code. Soya ice creams, spreads and yogurts, and dairy-free cheeses are just some 'free-from' examples.

Cow's milk allergy

Cow's milk allergy is extremely diverse to lactose intolerance. An allergic reaction is when the body's immune system launches an inappropriate response to substances mistakenly perceived as a threat.

Common triggers include latex, detergent, dust, pollen or certain proteins in food.

In cow's milk, it is the protein casein that causes most problems, but whey protein can also trigger a reaction in some people.

General symptoms include inflammation, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and so on, giving rise to the classic allergies &#x; asthma, eczema, hay fever, and urticaria (skin rash or hives). Because cow's milk allergy is linked to numerous conditions &#x; including asthma and eczema &#x; it's always useful to consider it when treating them.

What is lactose intolerance?

This is 'lactose intolerance', and most symptoms result from the production of gases and toxins by these gut bacteria. Symptoms include a bloated and painful stomach, wind, diarrhea, and, on some occasions, nausea and vomiting.

Other symptoms can include muscle and joint pain, headaches, dizziness, lethargy, difficulty with short-term memory, mouth ulcers, allergies, irregular heartbeat, sore throat, increased need to pass urine, acne, and depression.

Even more worrying is that the toxins produced by bacteria may frolic a key role in diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and some cancers.

Ditching lactose

The treatment for lactose intolerance is straightforward: avoid lactose.

What causes whey protein allergies

It means cutting out every cow's milk, and other dairy foods and checking labels as lactose is added to numerous unlikely foods, including bread, breakfast cereals, salad cream, mayonnaise, biscuits, chocolate, cake, crisps, instant soup and some processed meats, such as sliced ham.

The expression 'lactose' will not necessarily be listed on food labels so glance out for things love dried milk or whey powder.

Lactose is also used as a filler in numerous types of medication and while this may not trigger symptoms in most people with lactose intolerance, it can cause problems in some.

Check with your doctor and request lactose-free tablets.

The calcium myth

It's a myth that people who avoid dairy miss out on calcium &#x; there are numerous excellent non-dairy sources, including green leafy vegetables (spinach is a relatively poor source as it contains oxalate which binds calcium), dried fruits, nuts and seeds, calcium-set tofu and calcium-fortified soy milk. Remember, 70 percent of the world's population don't do dairy &#x; so you're not alone.

Dairy consumption in the UK is in decline as the market for plant-based milks, vegan cheese, yogurt, and other alternatives is booming.

Whether you are lactose intolerant, allergic to cow's milk protein, or simply desire to cut out dairy for health reasons, the animals or the environment, there's never been a better time to go dairy-free.

Going vegan has never been easier, there are vegan foods labeled as such in every major supermarket. Discover out how simple it is on Viva!'s website here 

Milk proteinsand lactose

Allergy to milk is a reaction to the proteins in contrast to lactose intolerance, where the milk sugar, i.e.

What causes whey protein allergies

lactose is causing the problems. Individuals with milk protein allergy must avoid every milk products including cheese. Individuals with lactose intolerance tolerate cheese and little amounts of milk products.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose (milk sugar) is a natural component in every kinds of milk. Lactose intolerant individuals own reduced levels of an enzyme, lactase, needed to hydrolyze lactose in the little intestine. Lactase deficiency allows the lactose to reach the large intestine where it is fermented by the colon micro flora.

Symptoms of lactase deficiency are stomach/intestinal distension accompanied with pain, flatulence and diarrhea.

The individual sensitivity to lactose varies but most individuals tolerate little amounts of lactose, corresponding to ml of milk per day.

Allergic reactions / Doses

The lowest dose of milk proteins/caseins that elicits an allergic reaction is not known. The table under shows information about the concentrations of casein detected in food products that own caused allergic reactions.

The National Food Agency has developed a guide on how to calculate the risk of allergic reactions to certain concentrations of milk. The guide is in English and can be reached below.

Food Consumed amount Casein conc.


Estimated dose Reported reaction Age
Candies 30 g 30 mg Anaphylactic reaction* emergency treatment 6 years
Yoghurt (soy-based) 15 ml mg Serious allergic reaction, emergency treatment 18 years
Chocolate coated mallow 5 g 6 mg Anaphylactic reaction* emergency treatment 9 years
Dark chocolate 9 g mg Allergic reaction 12 years
Biscuit 25 g mg Vomiting, breathing problems 10 years
Potato chips 40 g 36 mg Fatal anaphylaxis** 10 years
Ice cream (soy-based) 5 g 10 mg Swelling of lips and tongue 3 years
Soy-based baby formula ml 40 10 mg Asthma, vomiting 3 years
Chocolate 3 g 12 mg Stomach pain, vomiting 9 years
Chocolate 25 g 32 mg Urticaria, vomiting 3 years
Chocolate cake 82 g 66 mg Allergic reaction 5 years
Chocolate 50 g mg Stomach pain 14 years
Chocolate 50 g mg Stomach pain 14 years
Sausage 50 g 20 mg Vomiting, urticaria 6 years
Sausage 50 g 40 mg Vomiting, breathing difficulties 5 years
Sausage g 60 mg Fatal anaphylaxis 15 years
Sausage 10 g 19 mg Allergic reaction m
Sausage 10 g mg Urticaria, vomiting, breathing difficulties 3 years
Sausage 25 g mg Stomach pain 6 years
Sausage 25 g mg Vomiting, diarrhea 3 years
Sausage 25 g mg Stomach pain, vomiting 11 years
Meatballs 20 g 17 mg Oral allergy syndrome, stomach pain


* Anaphylactic reaction means that the allergic individual suffers from blood pressure drop, respiratory comprise/cramps in the airways and a systemic reaction, called anaphylactic shock

** Fatal anaphylaxis means that the shock proceeds to unconsciousness and death

More information


Testing for IgE antibodies may be useful to establish the diagnosis of an allergic disease and to define the allergens responsible for eliciting signs and symptoms.

Testing also may be useful to identify allergens which may be responsible for allergic disease and/or anaphylactic episode, to confirm sensitization to specific allergens prior to beginning immunotherapy, and to investigate the specificity of allergic reactions to insect venom allergens, drugs, or chemical allergens.

Clinical manifestations of immediate hypersensitivity (allergic) diseases are caused by the release of proinflammatory mediators (histamine, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins) from immunoglobulin E (IgE)-sensitized effector cells (mast cells and basophils) when cell-bound IgE antibodies interact with allergen.

In vitro serum testing for IgE antibodies provides an indication of the immune response to allergen(s) that may be associated with allergic disease.

The allergens chosen for testing often depend upon the age of the patient, history of allergen exposure, season of the year, and clinical manifestations.

In individuals predisposed to develop allergic disease(s), the sequence of sensitization and clinical manifestations proceed as follows: eczema and respiratory disease (rhinitis and bronchospasm) in infants and children less than 5 years due to food sensitivity (milk, egg, soy, and wheat proteins) followed by respiratory disease (rhinitis and asthma) in older children and adults due to sensitivity to inhalant allergens (dust mite, mold, and pollen inhalants).

Detection of IgE antibodies in serum (Class 1 or greater) indicates an increased likelihood of allergic disease as opposed to other etiologies and defines the allergens that may be responsible for eliciting signs and symptoms.

The level of IgE antibodies in serum varies directly with the concentration of IgE antibodies expressed as a class score or kU/L.

Testing for IgE antibodies is not useful in patients previously treated with immunotherapy to determine if residual clinical sensitivity exists, or in patients in whom the medical management does not depend upon identification of allergen specificity.

Some individuals with clinically insignificant sensitivity to allergens may own measurable levels of IgE antibodies in serum, and results must be interpreted in the clinical context.

False-positive results for IgE antibodies may happen in patients with markedly elevated serum IgE (>2, kU/L) due to nonspecific binding to allergen solid phases.

Homburger HA: Chapter Allergic diseases.

In Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st edition. Edited by RA McPherson, MR Pincus. WB Saunders Company, New York, , Part VI, pp

Special InstructionsLibrary of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test

Special InstructionsLibrary of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test

Dairy Intolerance: Is it Lactose? Casein? or Whey?

Posted by Andrea Rossi, RHN, in Allergies

Having a food intolerance is not enjoyment.

It can cause abdominal pain, discomfort, and nausea. It also causes embarrassing symptoms love flatulence and diarrhea. Other symptoms linked to food intolerances include muscle or joint pain, headaches, exhaustion, and even skin symptoms love rashes and eczema.

Dairy is just one of those foods that numerous people seem to be intolerant of. Let’s talk about the main components of milk that people react to: lactose, casein, and whey.

Worried about your Calcium Intake?

While dairy may be often considered an entire food group, it is not an essential nutrient. Calcium is by far the one mineral that most people worry about consuming enough when they decide to remove dairy from their diets.

And there is definitely a large misconception that dairy is the only excellent source of calcium.

Good news! Every the nutrients in dairy are available in other foods. ? I put together this quick summary organized by quantity of calcium available by serving size.

What causes whey protein allergies

I focused on the foods over 50mg per serving, although my no means is this an exhaustive list. I just wanted to give you a excellent thought on where you can get non-dairy sources of calcium.

You’ll see I kept yogurt and milk on the list. I wanted you to compare their calcium values to others to give you a excellent comparison.

Note that the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for calcium is as follows:

Birth to 6 months: mg
7 – 12 months: mg
1 — 3 years: mg
4 — 8 years: mg
9 — 18 years: mg
19 — 50 years: mg
During pregnancy: mg
Women over 50 yrs: mg
Men over 70 yrs: mg

Milk Sugar (Lactose) Intolerance

It’s estimated that up to 75% of adults are lactose intolerant.

Lactose is the carbohydrate “milk sugar” naturally found in most dairy products.

What causes whey protein allergies

Lactose intolerance is so common you can purchase lactose-free milk in your regular grocery store. Lactose-free products are treated with the enzyme “lactase” that breaks the lactose below before you ingest it. It’s this lactase enzyme that is lacking in most people who are lactose intolerant.

The lactase enzyme is naturally released from your intestine as one of your digestive enzymes. It breaks below the lactose sugar in the gut. When someone doesn’t own enough lactase, the lactose doesn’t get broken below the way it should.

Undigested lactose ends up being food for the resident gut microbes. As they ferment the lactose, they create gases that cause bloating, flatulence, pain, and sometimes diarrhea.

Lactose is in dairy but is in lower amounts in fermented dairy (e.g. cheese & yogurt) and butter. Steering clear of lactose isn’t that simple as it is added to other foods love baked goods, soups, and sauces. And if you’re taking any medications or supplements, check to see if it’s in there too, as lactose is a common ingredient in them.

If you own symptoms of lactose intolerance, hold an eye on food, medication, and supplement labels.


If you get gassy, bloated, or diarrhea after eating dairy, you may own a lactose intolerance.

If you often get a stuffy nose and mucus, then you may be allergic to casein and/or whey.

If you experience these symptoms, I would propose you attempt removing dairy from your diet for at least 2 weeks to see if your symptoms improve. You may discover improved digestion and fewer gut issues. Or you may discover improved nasal congestion, or even less stomach fat.

After the 2 weeks, start by re-introducing a higher fat dairy source love cheese to see how you feel. If you own no issues, wait 3 days and then reintroduce yogurt and see how you feel. And then lastly dairy milk should you choose.

Because milk has less fat content that the other sources of dairy love cheese and yogurt, it’s often harder to digest since it’s farther from being “whole”.

Sticking with dairy full in fat is easiest to digest.

*Interesting fact, parents who struggle with their children and bedwetting discover that by removing dairy or other food sensitivities notice an immediate improvement!

If you’re not certain if you’re reacting to the lactose, whey, or casein and you desire some assist you identify how your body is reacting, I can assist you identify how your body is reacting to each of these components.

Sign up for my free 30 min consultation and get your Whole Body Health Profile to see what underlying problem could be affecting you.

Much Love,

Milk Protein (Casein & Whey) Allergy

Milk is a known, and common, food allergen.

In Canada, it is considered a “priority allergen” and must be declared on food labels.

So, what are the allergens in milk? You’ve heard of «curds and whey?» Well, these are the two main proteins in milk. The solid bits are the curds (made of casein), and the liquid is the dissolved whey.

Unlike lactose intolerance, casein and whey can cause an actual immune response and be considered a true allergy by promoting an IgE response from the immune system. And this immune response can cause inflammation. In fact, we don’t know how numerous people own these milk allergies, but most estimates put it far under that of lactose intolerance.

However, even if an IgE immediate immune response is not observed, a lot of people still get reactions from the casein and whey and therefore discover themselves intolerance to these proteins.

Like lactose, these allergenic milk proteins can be found in other products too.

They’re not just in dairy but are often the base of numerous protein powders as well (ie.

What causes whey protein allergies

«whey» protein powder).

Some of the symptoms of milk protein allergy differ from that of lactose intolerance; things love nasal congestion and mucus (phlegm) are more common here. And casein seems to be linked with stomach fat.

Interestingly, people who own gluten intolerance are often allergic to milk proteins love whey and casein as well. These can go hand-in-hand for their protein molecular structure is extremely similar.

Like lactose intolerance, if you’re allergic to casein and whey hold an eye on labels so you can avoid these.