A new Canadian study found that children with a milk allergy who avoid all dairy are often deficient in vitamin D and calcium, leading to low bone density. The limited study compared children with cow’s milk allergies to children with other food allergies.

The study measured total body composition, levels of vitamin D in blood, and lumbar spine bone mineral density. Dietary questionnaires were used to assess dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D.

More than 60 percent of kids with milk allergy didn’t meet dietary recommendations for key nutrients.

Children with a milk allergy were much more likely to be deficient in the nutrients measured than were children with other food allergies. Sixty percent of children with milk allergy were deficient versus 25 percent of those with other allergies.

Further complicated this were bone density and mass measurements. Children with milk allergies had consistently lower bone mineral density and about six percent of them had low bone mass. Less than half of the children with a milk allergy were taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. This likely explained the deficiencies.

The study does have limitations, however. It considered only 52 children with a milk allergy and only 29 more with other allergies. This limits the scope of the findings.

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