Supporting healthy growth, gut comfort and enhanced protection
Alpha-lactalbumin is rich in essential amino acids and is the most abundant protein in human milk, comprising approx. 25% of the total protein content. We have two alpha-lactalbumin enriched products in our infant portfolio. These are marketed as Lacprodan® ALPHA-10 and Lacprodan® ALPHA-20 and can be used within the areas of humanisation, gastrointestinal health, low-protein and comfort formulations.
Alpha-lactalbumin is suitable for low-protein infant formulas due to the high content of essential amino acids. While more research is still needed on the long-term effect on body composition, lowering the protein concentration of formulas has been suggested as a preventive strategy for reducing the risk of overweight and obesity in children. By adding alpha-lactalbumin the overall protein content of infant formula can be reduced mimicking human milk in terms of protein concentration and composition. The energetic efficiency has also been shown to be increased by alpha-lactalbumin enriched low-protein formula.
Several clinical and pre-clinical studies have investigated the benefit of alpha-lactalbumin in early nutrition. It has been shown that alpha-lactalbumin reduces feeding-related gastrointestinal events such as abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting and regurgitation resulting in a gastrointestinal tolerance similar to breastfed infants. With regard to comfort formulations, alpha-lactalbumin enriched infant formula has been shown to be better accepted and tolerated by infants than a conventional infant formula. Alpha-lactalbumin has also been shown to prevent E. coli-induced diarrhea, as demonstrated in an infant rhesus monkey trial. Finally infant formula enriched with alpha-lactalbumin, often also reduced in protein, are shown to support healthy growth of the infants.
Benefits associated with alpha-lactalbumin
- High content of essential amino acids making it a key ingredient in low-protein infant formulas
- Reduces feeding-related gastrointestinal events
- Protects against intestinal infections
- Supports a healthy gut microbiota
Leading image: Artistic interpretation of a crystal structure of alpha-lactalbumin.
Arla Foods Ingredients supports the WHO recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life and continued breastfeeding up to the age of two or beyond in combination with nutritionally appropriate complementary foods.