The almond milk: A new approach to the management of cow-milk allergy/intolerance in infants
Elimination of the offending food is imperative in the management of children with cow-milk allergy/intolerance (CMA/CMI). Herein we report the result of randomized clinical trial carried out to test the efficacy and safety of a new almond-based food (hereinafter named almond milk) in a group of infant with CMI/CMA. A group of 52 infants aged 5 to 9 months and with documented CMI/CMA was enrolled and randomized to: almond milk (Group A, n=26); soy-based formula (Group B, n=13); protein hydrolysate-based formula (n=13). The main efficacy outcomes were the improvement in clinical symptoms and the decrease in serum levels of soluble CD30 (a potential marker for atopic disorders; sCD30). Elimination of the offending food and supplementation with a milk protein-free formula produced a considerable improvement of clinical manifestations within 5-12 days in all cases examined (at the onset of the study: 26.4+/-5.4 U/mL and 7.9+/-5.2 U/mL in IgE+ and IgE- infants respectively, after 6 months of supplementation: 16.6+/-4.8 U/mL and 7.1+/-4.5 U/mL in IgE+ and IgE- infants respectively). No difference in growth rate (increment of weight, length and head circumference) was found, during the entire study, between infants given the almond milk and babies given the soy-based formula or the protein hydrolysate-based formula. Supplementation with the soy-based and protein hydrolysate-based formulas caused the development, in some subjects, of a secondary sensitization (23% to soy-based and 15% protein hydrolysate-based formula), whereas supplementation with the almond milk did not. Though preliminary, the present findings seem to demonstrate that the almond milk may an efficacious substitute of cow milk in infants with CMA/CMI. One could speculate that some active principles contained in the almond milk could contribute to its beneficial effect observed in CMI/CMA-affected infants.