The Two Faces of Cow's Milk and Allergy: Induction of Cow's Milk Allergy vs. Prevention of Asthma

Joost van Neerven*, Huub F.J. Savelkoul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cow's milk has been consumed by humans for over 5000 years and contributed to a drastic change in lifestyle form nomadic to settled communities. As the composition of cow's milk is relatively comparable to breast milk, it has for a very long time been used as an alternative to breastfeeding. Today, cow's milk is typically introduced into the diet of infants around 6 months, except when breastfeeding is not an option. In that case, most often cow's milk based infant formulas are given. Some children will develop cow's milk allergy (CMA) during the first year of life. However, epidemiological evidence also suggests that consumption of unprocessed, "raw" cow's milk is associated with a lowered prevalence of other allergies. This Special Issue of Nutrients on "Cow's Milk and Allergy" ( is dedicated to these two different sides of cow's milk and allergy, ranging from epidemiology of CMA, clinical presentation and sensitization patterns, treatment and prevention, effects of milk processing, and current management guidelines for CMA, but also the epidemiological evidence linking cow's milk to lower asthma prevalence as well as the tolerance-inducing effect of raw cow's milk in food allergy models. In this editorial, we discuss these issues by highlighting the contributions in this Special Issue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1945
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2019


  • asthma
  • cow’s milk allergy
  • hydrolysate
  • milk
  • processing
  • tolerance

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