Infant Formula May Not Be Hypoallergenic

O Health Baby W Bottle

Though some formula manufacturers have claimed that partially hydrolyzed infant formula made with 100 percent whey-protein is hypoallergenic for babies who are allergic to milk, a study led by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded that those claims are not verified by legitimate research.

Some of these formulas have been marketed as reducing the risk of atopic dermatitis, known as eczema, which is common in infants. Eczema can be exacerbated by infant formula and early introduction of solid foods.

The FDA study concluded that “very little scientific evidence suggests that, for healthy infants who are not exclusively breastfed and who have a family history or allergy, feeding a 100 percent whey-protein partially hydrologyzed infant formula from birth up to age 4 months [instead of a cow’s milk formula] may reduce the risk of developing atopic dermatitis through the first year of life and up to 3 years of age.”

The FDA is now requiring labeling of these formulas to state, “Partially hydrolyzed formulas should not be fed to infants who are allergic to milk or to infants with existing milk allergy symptoms.”

Read formula labels and discuss them with your child’s doctor. Find the abstract at pediatrics.aappublications.org (search for Hypoallergenic Formula).

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