Food Antigens in Human Milk

  • I. Jakobsson
Conference paper


Today we know, mostly from animal experiments, that macromolecules, like food antigens, can pass through the intestinal barrier into the circulation. The molecules can reach the mother’s milk and also pass the placental barrier to reach to foetus. In recent years we have also obtained evidence that this macromolecular transport takes place in humans. In 1921 Shannon [1] described breast-fed infants with eczema and one infant with colic and diarrhoea. All the infants showed intolerances to foods that they had never eaten. These reactions were mostly against egg white. The mothers were told to eat no foods containing eggs, and the eczema disappeared, but returned again when the mothers once more ate eggs. To verify his hypothesis that egg white eaten by the mother could pass into her milk, Shannon also carried out anaphylactic experiments on the milk given to guinea pigs. From 1930 and to the present there has been rather little written about this phenomenon.


Breast Milk Food Allergy Milk Sample Human Milk Food Antigen 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • I. Jakobsson

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