Heat-treated milk product consumption in infancy increases asthma risk: Study
Infants with high consumption of infant formula and other strongly heat-treated milk products demonstrated an increased risk for asthma, according to a study published by Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.
Consumption of unprocessed cow's milk has been associated with a lower risk of childhood asthma and/or atopy. Not much is known about differently processed milk products.
A team of researchers conducted a study to study the association between the consumption of differently processed milk products and asthma risk in a Finnish birth cohort.
The researchers included 3053 children from the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) Nutrition Study. Asthma and its subtypes were assessed at the age of 5 years, and food consumption by food records, at the age of 3 and 6 months and 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years. We used conventional and processing (heat treatment and homogenization)-based classifications for milk products. The data were analyzed using a joint model for longitudinal and time-to-event data.
The results of the study are as follows:
· At the age of 5 years, 184 (6.0%) children had asthma, of whom 101 (54.9%) were atopic, 75 (40.8%) were nonatopic, and eight (4.3%) could not be categorized.
· Consumption of infant formulas and strongly heat-treated milk products was associated with the risk of all asthma.
· Consumption of all cow's milk products, nonfermented milk products, infant formulas, and strongly heat-treated milk products was associated with nonatopic asthma risk.
· All these associations remained statistically significant after multiple testing corrections.
Thus, the researchers concluded that high consumption of infant formula and other strongly heat-treated milk products may be associated with the development of asthma.
A study titled, "Consumption of differently processed milk products and the risk of asthma in children" by Katariina Koivusaari et. al published in the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.