SHEEP MILK ALLERGY
Sheep milk by-products are commonly consumed in Western Europe, mostly cheese made from sheep milk like feta and ricotta.
The allergenic proteins in sheep milk are generally split into albumins (commonly called whey) and casein. In human milk the split is usually 60% whey to 40% casein. In sheep milk the split is 20% whey to 80% casein. This is a very similar composition to cow's milk. This massive difference in composition is thought to be the cause of what causes IgE allergic reaction to mammalian milk, with most people being allergic to casein proteins in the milk.
Most sheep milk products are not suitable for those suffering from cow's milk protein allergy. Sheep milk remains a dairy product and is best avoided for those allergic to cows milk.
Sheep milk and cheese still contains lactose and is not suitable for those suffering from lactose intolerance.
Sheep milk allergy is not currently associated with any syndromes.
Cow, goat and buffalo milk could all be cross reactive with sheep milk due to similar composition.
Allergen Encyclopedia - Sheep Milk
Allergy UK - Milk Free Diets
British Dietetic Association - Milk Allergies
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Milk Allergies
Articles and Journals
Adult-onset sheep’s milk allergy in a patient without cow’s milk allergy, 2020
Chemical Composition, Nitrogen Fractions and Amino Acids Profile of Milk from Different Animal Species, 2016
Allergy to goat and sheep milk without allergy to cow's milk, 2006
Selective allergy to sheep's and goat's milk proteins, 2004
Cross-reactivity between milk proteins from different animal species, 1999
Allergy to cheese produced from sheep's and goat's milk but not to cheese produced from cow's milk, 1995
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