Alpha-lactalbumin is rich in essential and conditionally essential amino acids and is the dominant protein in human milk, comprising 25-35% 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 support gastrointestinal health and protect against intestinal infections.
These products are ideal for low protein infant formulas due to the high content of essential amino acids. Low protein formulations are associated with reduced risk of obesity in infancy, childhood, and adulthood. So by adding alpha-lactalbumin the overall protein content of infant formula can be reduced and thereby mimic human milk in terms of protein concentration.
Several clinical studies have investigated the functionality of alpha-lactalbumin and identified important benefits for infant nutrition, development, and health. One of the observed effects when using alpha-lactalbumin in infant formulas is an infant growth curve more similar to that of breastfed infants.
Protein in infant formula reduces gastrointestrial problems
Several infant clinical studies have demonstrated that an alpha-lactalbumin enriched infant formula reduces feeding-related gastrointestinal events in a manner similar to breastfeeding. In regards to comfort formulations, alpha-lactalbumin enriched infant formulas is better accepted and tolerated by the infants than a conventional infant formula. Alpha-lactalbumin has also been shown to reduce gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, reflux, and vomiting. Finally, it prevents E. coli induced diarrhea, as demonstrated in an infant rhesus monkey trial and has a bifidogenic effect.
Benefits associated with alpha-lactalbumin:
- High content of essential amino acids making it a key ingredient in low protein infant formulas
- Reduces gastrointestinal events
- Protects against intestinal infections
- Support a healthy gut flora making it an ideal ingredient for comfort formulations
- Lacprodan® ALPHA-10: whey protein fraction with a level of 43% alpha-lactalbumin and a high content of tryptophan, cysteine and 88% protein concentrate approx. dry matter
- Lacprodan® ALPHA-20: whey protein fraction with a level of 60% alpha-lactalbumin and a high content of tryptophan, cysteine and 91% protein isolate approx. dry matter
Brück et al. 2006. J pediatr 43: 673-679, 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.