Casein Allergy

[Updated Jan 29, 2016]

What is a casein-free diet?

A casein-free diet has been found to be beneficial for a number of people for a variety of reasons.

Casein is a protein found in mammal milk. It is commonly found in cow (and other bovine) milk, and human breast milk. You may have a casein allergy or sensitivity if you have swollen lips, develop hives, or other symptoms.

A gluten-free and casein-free (GF/CF) diet has provided positive results for many people diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder, such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome, atypical autism and pervasive developmental disorder.

Currently, there are no double-blind studies proving the efficacy of the GF/CF diet in autistic spectrum disorders. Several open studies conducted in Europe and the United States do provide strong positive data. There is also voluminous anecdotal evidence on the efficacy of the dietary approach.

When removing dairy from the diet, it is vital that adequate calcium and vitamin D be added in the form of fortified milk substitutes or acceptable vitamin and mineral supplements. Guidance from a qualified physician or nutritionist is strongly advised.

Foods that contain casein

Half & Half
Sour Cream
White or Milk Chocolate
Ice Cream
Ice Milk
Creamed Soups and Vegetables
Soup Bases

Bovine products

All bovine and dairy products
contain casein.

Casein-free alternatives

Rice, Soy or Potato-Based Milks
Pareve Creams and Creamers
Italian Ices
Soy Ice Cream (not all flavors)
Ghee (if guaranteed casein free)
Coconut Butter
Coconut Milk

Foods that may contain casein

Tuna Fish
Dairy-Free Cheese (most brands)
Cosmetics, Medicines
Lactic Acid
Artificial Flavorings
Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Hot Dogs
Lunch Meats

Dairy free may contain casein.
Many non-dairy foods contain casein
proteins. Avoid foods that contain any
ingredient with casein or caseinate.

Kosher and casein

Kosher pareve foods are casein free. Foods certified as kosher non-dairy or pareve are free of dairy proteins.