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Effect of a whey-predominant starter formula containing LCPUFAs and oligosaccharides (FOS/GOS) on gastrointestinal comfort in infants

, : Effect of a whey-predominant starter formula containing LCPUFAs and oligosaccharides (FOS/GOS) on gastrointestinal comfort in infants. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 19(4): 473-480

Development of new infant formulas aims to replicate the benefits of breast milk. One benefit of breast milk over infant formulas is greater gastrointestinal comfort. We compared indicators of gastrointestinal comfort in infants fed a whey-predominant formula containing long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, galacto-oligo-saccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides, and infants fed a control casein-predominant formula without additional ingredients. The single-centre, prospective, double-blind, controlled trial randomly assigned healthy, full-term infants (n=144) to receive exclusively either experimental or control formula from 30 days to 4 months of age. A group of exclusively breast-fed infants served as reference (n=80). At 1, 2, 3, and 4 months, infants' growth parameters were measured and their health assessed. Parents recorded frequency and physical characteristics of infants' stool, frequency of regurgitation, vomiting, crying and colic. At 2-months, gastric emptying (ultrasound) and intestinal transit time (H2 breath test) were measured, and stool samples collected for bacterial analysis. Compared to the control (n=69), fewer of the experimental group (n=67) had hard stools (0.7 vs 7.5%, p<0.001) and more had soft stools (90.8 vs 82.3%, p<0.05). Also compared to the control, the experimental group's stool microbiota composition (mean % bifidobacteria: 78.1 (experimental, n=17), 63.7 (control, n=16), 74.3 (breast-fed, n=20), gastric transit times (59.6 (experimental, n=53), 61.4 (control, n=62), 55.9 (breast-fed, n=67) minutes) and intestinal transit times (data not shown) were closer to that of the breast-fed group. Growth parameter values were similar for all groups. The data suggest that, in infants, the prebiotic-containing whey-based formula provides superior gastrointestinal comfort than a control formula.


PMID: 21147707

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