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Can My Kid Take Growing Up Prebiotics If They Are Allergic To Cow Milk Protein?

Published October 04, 2022

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By David Madsen, PhD

We get this question sometimes! We have lots of loyal Beginners who have this allergy. But, as parents ourselves we want to learn about the use of Growing Up Prebiotics in kids with milk protein sensitivity. So, we took this question to our favorite nutrition scientist, David Madsen, PhD. Let’s talk about the details so that you can decide if Growing Up Prebiotics are right for your family.

Take it away David!

Growing up Prebiotics contains a very low level of Protein.

In fact Milk protein is not used to manufacture any of the ingredients in this product. There may be a very small amount of protein in raw materials, but the manufacturing process eliminates nearly all of it. So the final Growing Up Prebiotics product may contain – as I said above – a very low level of protein, and it may not even be milk protein. This protein - when present – is in the 2’FL ingredient of Growing Up Prebiotics.

Giving numbers to this can help to appreciate the tiny quantity: the product has not more than 0.01 percent of residual protein! This works out to not more than about 0.05 milligrams of protein – at a maximum – in one serving of product.

Can I be sure that even that amount of protein is safe for my allergic kid?

Good question! Is even that tiny amount of protein going to do anything?

Let’s look to some Science: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP; 1), and a research study in children (2). For kids and others with documented Cow Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) the question of “how much milk protein is too much” is at the base of innumerable studies and recommendations. We of course want a product that is “tolerated” (“Hypoallergenic”). The AAP has issued guidelines which tell us how to test formulas for their ability to cause – or not – allergic reactions.

The AAP defines a product as ‘hypoallergenic’ if at least 90% of infants with CMPA tolerate it under “double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions” – which refers to very rigorously described and well-controlled conditions.

Well – there is such a study, which used the low-protein-containing ingredient, in an infant formula matrix.

The residual protein is not likely to Cause Symptoms

The clinical study (2) studied 64 children (2-41/2 years old), all with documented CMPA. They underwent the noted rigorous testing with the protein-containing ingredient as a component of an infant formula, and the Results were comforting. Over 98 percent of the children tolerated the product. Recall that the AAP criterion for a product to be “hypoallergenic” is at least 90 percent – so the studied product easily met the criterion.

The authors of this study concluded: that the formula containing our ingredient “met the clinical hypoallergenicity criteria” [2]

Summary - David's Takeaway? Go for it! The very small amount of residual protein will very likely be tolerated by Kids with CMPA. Of course, if your child has a documented Cow Milk Protein Allergy you should always share information about products they consume with their doctor, who will provide the ultimate guidance for you and your kid. We listen carefully to our customers, and to date we have not had a report of an intolerance in kids with CMPA – but we certainly remain open to hearing about all your experiences.

(1): American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Nutrition. Hypoallergenic infant formulas. Pediatrics 2000, 106, 346–349.

(2): Nowak-Wegrzyn et al 2019. Nutrients. 2019 Jun 26;11(7):1447

Dr David Madsen

David Madsen, PhD

Dr. Madsen spent decades in the industry managing research in many aspects of health and nutrition - including Pediatrics. Dave currently provides consulting and is located in the Atlanta area.