Hypoallergenic Baby Formula May Not Prevent Food Allergies

If your child is at high risk for food sensitivities, your pediatrician may recommend an “allergy-friendly” baby formula, usually based on whey. New research suggests that babies with a family history of food allergy who were fed Nestle NAN Hypoallergenic baby formula were as likely to develop allergies as those who were fed formulas based on milk or soy.

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As reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the "findings do not support the recommendation that (the whey formula) should be used after breast-feeding as a preventive strategy for infants at high risk of allergic diseases.” Because previous researchers found that the proteins in baby formulas containing cow's milk could make allergies more prevalent, many doctors recommend an 'allergy-friendly' alternative with whey protein, a byproduct of cheese production.

According to Tiffani Hays, director of pediatric nutrition at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, the protein in the hypoallergenic formula could help children build immune system tolerance. The research team, based in Australia, tested whether the formula does build allergy protection. 310 high-risk infants received the hypoallergenic formula, while 310 received regular formula.

During the test period, the babies were routinely tested for a variety of common allergens. Just over half of the babies developed some form of allergy, with no difference between the two groups. The findings suggest that more research should be done into potential ways to lower babies' risk of developing allergies.

Read more about the study here: http://www.mnn.com/health/allergies/stories/special-infant-formula-may-n...

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