Formula fed infants often experience gastrointestinal discomfort, such as colic and regurgitation, leading to poor sleep and long crying intervals. Infant formulas contain much more protein than human milk, and as protein is difficult to digest for the immature gastrointestinal system, it can result in discomfort for the infant. By altering the amount and type of proteins used, gastrointestinal discomfort can be reduced.
Arla Foods Ingredients has several solutions for comfort infant formulas:
Alpha-lactalbumin is an easy digestible protein, which provides formula fed infants a gastrointestinal tolerance similar to that of breastfed. Due to its excellent amino acid composition, alpha-lactalbumin is a key ingredient in lowering the protein levels in infant formula. Several infant clinical studies have demonstrated that infant formulas enriched with alpha-lactalbumin reduce feeding-related events similar to that of breastfeeding. Furthermore, alpha-lactalbumin increases general formula acceptability and tolerance.
Hydrolysed proteins are proteins that have been broken down by enzymes and have been observed to reduce gastrointestinal issues. Studies have demonstrated that the use of hydrolysed proteins in infant formulas can reduce regurgitation, crying and feeding intolerance - especially in colicky infants.
Finally, in some regions, low-lactose formulas are also used to settle some gastrointestinal discomfort.
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.