Animal Protein Allergies Explained

ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2007) — New research explains why more people are allergic to cow's milk than horse's milk. The relatedness of an animal food protein to a human protein determines whether it can cause allergy, according to new research by scientists from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich and the Medical University of Vienna.

In theory all proteins have the potential to become allergens, but the study found that in practice the ability of animal food proteins to act as allergens depends on their evolutionary distance from a human equivalent.

"This explains why people who are allergic to cow's milk can often tolerate mare's milk but not goat's milk", said Dr Clare Mills of the Institute of Food Research. "Proteins in horse milk are up to 66% identical to human milk proteins, while known allergens from cows and goats are all less than 53% identical to corresponding human proteins.

"Overall we found that only an animal food protein that is less than 54% identical to a human equivalent could become allergenic."

Cow's milk and hen's eggs are common causes of allergy in infants, while the most common animal food allergens in adults are fish and seafood...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1015081742.htm