A new study challenges the claim that hypoallergenic baby formula prevents allergies in high-risk infants

A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has found that there is no benefit in using partially hydrolysed whey formula (pHWF) as a measure to prevent allergies occurring in children who may be high-risk, with a comparison to conventional cow’s milk formulas.

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Centre for MEGA Epidemiology at the University of Melbourne carried out the study with 620 infants with a family history of allergic disease, making it the largest trial to test the effect of hypoallergenic baby formula. They were either given hypoallergenic, soya or cow’s formula after stopping breastfeeding and were tested for allergies (milk, egg, peanut, dust mite, rye grass, and cat dander) at six, 12 and 24 months, and then followed up at 6 or 7 years of age. The infants were all high-risk, and the scientists found no evidence that the hypoallergenic formulas prevented the development of childhood asthma, hayfever or eczema up to the age of seven. Infants in atopic families should be encouraged to breastfeed for the many known benefits associated with breastfeeding.

Source: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

More research reports on infant and children

First Published in July 2011

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