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Sunday, June 10, 2007

More UK Dairy Allergy Nonsense

What is it with the Brits? I've posted several articles that quote British "nutritionists" making overblown or just plain loony claims about milk and dairy allergy. Like No Wonder the English Need Dentists. Or How Sick Are You, Brits?. Or Goat's Milk for Lactose Intolerants? No.

You won't, therefore, be surprised that I've found another bad example.

Not the article itself by Lucy Stephens in the York Press. The reporter, as usual, was just quoting the experts, getting "both sides" of the story.

The pro-milk side was normal and mostly correct.

Dr Sarah Elton, a senior anatomy lecturer at Hull York Medical School, agrees that milk gets a bad press which it does not deserve. ...

"My take on this is that all this celebrity stuff: I'm not taking in milk and wheat' - a lot of it is probably rubbish," says Dr Elton. ...

"In those of European extraction, there's only a small proportion - about three per cent - who don't have the ability to digest milk.

And Stephens also writes, correctly, that:
* Lactose intolerance is not the same as a milk allergy

* It is estimated that between two and three per cent of UK infants are allergic to milk. Most will outgrow the problem by the time they are three. According to the Diary Council, that means only between 0.1 and 0.5 per cent of adults are actually allergic to milk

Now, contrast that to what the anti-milk "nutritionist" says:
But Azizah Clayton, a York-based nutritionist, maintains that diary products are still one of the top four allergens that we eat.

She agrees that while an intolerance to lactose is rare, many more people are intolerant to Casein - a protein in cow's milk.

This can flare up in young children if they were given cow's milk when their digestive systems have not developed enough, she says.

It might also be the case that we simply consume too much milk. "If we over-consume, we develop an intolerance to it," she says

Four points.

1) Yes, dairy is one of the top four allergens. But overall allergies are still an extremely low percentage of the population.

2) More people are allergy to casein than have lactose intolerance? That's nuts, even in Britain. And it totally conflicts with the percentages given in the article, so you don't have to look hard to see how nuts that is.

3) Yes, children are more likely to develop allergies if given cow's milk early rather than being breastfed. Even so, it remains a small percentage of children and a much smaller percentage of adults.

4) Over-consumption of milk will give us an intolerance? That's crackpottery.

Read half the article, folks. Treat the part from Azizah Clayton like the equivalent of an Internet virus and purge it from memory.

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