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J Pediatr. 1981 Oct;99(4):600-2.

Food antibodies in milk from Guatemalan women.



This study investigates the presence of antibodies against food products in milk samples from 30 Guatemalan women of 3 different socioeconomic status: 10 rural poor, 10 urban poor, and 10 urban privileged. The 3 groups had varied dietary habits. Both the rural and urban poor mothers do not consume cow's milk. Black beans are consumed more often by the urban groups while soy bean products are consumed by both rural and urban poor regularly. Milk samples were collected from the mothers. The volume of milk produced in a 24-hour period was estimated by weighing the children before and after every meal. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) described by Sohe-Akerlund was used in quantitating milk secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA). A modification of the ELISA method was used to determine levels of specific IgA antibodies directed against cow's milk, black beans and soybeans. The Wilcoxon rank sum test was used in statistical analysis. Comparable amounts of SIgA were produced by the 3 groups of mothers in a 24-hour period (p0.1). The urban privileged mothers exhibited significantly higher antibody levels against cow's milk (p0.01) and black beans (p0.05) compared to the other 2 groups. There were no differences in the level of anti-soybean antibodies among the 3 groups. The notion that antibodies found in the breast milk reflect the mother's intestinal antigenic experience is supported by this study. It has been suggested that anti-food protein antibodies contribute in the prevention of allergies. If so, cow's milk fed among the rural and urban poor children may be expected to produce negative reactions. This negative reaction can be prevented by feeding the mother, before delivery, cow's milk products to induce them to produce milk antibodies against cow's milk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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