The faster weight gain of formula fed infants compared with breastfed infants is thought to be due to the significantly higher protein intake, which is 40-50% higher compared to that of breastfed infants. A higher protein intake has a range of metabolic consequences which can lead to obesity, including higher plasma levels of branched chain amino acids, IGF-1, and insulin.
The primary limiting factor in low protein formula is the need to ensure the required level of amino acids. Lowering the total protein content places higher demands on the quality of the protein ingredients in the formulation.
The major protein in human milk
Alpha-lactalbumin is the major protein in human milk and has an exceptionally high content of essential amino acids, making it a key ingredient in low protein formula. Arla Foods Ingredients has developed two ingredients rich in alpha-lactalbumin making it possible to optimise the protein level in a formula and simultaneously meeting the requirements for essential amino acids.
Related products: Lacprodan® ALPHA-10 and Lacprodan® ALPHA-20.
Sandström et al. 2008. Am J Clin Nutr. 87: 921-928
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.