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Keywords:

  • soy allergy;
  • peanut allergy;
  • cow's milk allergy;
  • immunoglobulin E-mediated reactions;
  • prospective randomized controlled clinical trial

Peanut allergy has been associated with the intake of soy milk or a soy formula. We studied the development of immunoglobulin E antibodies specific to soy and peanuts and of allergic reactions caused by peanuts, in children with confirmed cow's milk (CM) allergy fed either a soy formula or an extensively hydrolyzed formula (EHF). One hundred and seventy infants with documented CM allergy (CMA) were randomly assigned to receive either a soy formula or an EHF. The children were followed to the age of 4 yr. Peanut-specific immunoglobulin E was measured at the age of 4. A detailed history of the occurrence of allergic reactions caused by peanuts was recorded by the parents. Soy-specific immunoglobulin E antibodies were measured at the time of diagnosis and at the ages of 1, 2 and 4 yr. Immunoglobulin E antibodies to soy (≥0.35 kU/l) were found in 22 of 70 children fed the soy formula, and in 14 of 70 of the children fed the EHF (p = 0.082). In an open challenge with soy at the age of 4, no immediate reactions were observed. One of 72 children from the soy group had a delayed reaction. immunoglobulin E antibodies to peanuts (≥0.35 kU/l) were found in 21 of 70 children fed the soy formula and 17 of 69 infants fed the EHF (p = 0.717). The incidence of reported peanut allergy in the soy group was two of 72 (3%) and four of 76 (5%) in the EHF group (p = 0.68). Development of immunoglobulin E-associated allergy to soy and peanuts was rare in our study group of milk allergic children. The use of a soy formula during the first 2 yr of life did not increase the risk of development of peanut-specific immunoglobulin E antibodies or of clinical peanut allergy.