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Infants Gain Weight Faster On Cow’s Milk Formula Than Protein Hydrolysate

December 27, 2010: 11:06 AM EST

A U.S. study comparing infant weight gain when fed cow’s milk formula or protein hydrolysate (predigested protein) formula found that protein hydrolysate-fed infants gained weight at the same rate as breast-fed babies. Infants fed cow’s milk formula gained weight faster than breast-fed infants. According to the researchers, the findings have implications related to infant risk for development of obesity, diabetes and other diseases later in life. For the study, infants between two weeks and 7.5 months were randomly assigned to the two formulas. Calorie content for the two formulas was the same. Laboratory analysis showed that the infants fed the protein hydrolysate formula ate less during the meal. The researchers suggested further studies are needed to find out why infants fed cow’s milk formula tended to overfeed.

Julie Mennella, Ph.D., et al., "Differential Growth Patterns Among Healthy Infants Fed Protein Hydrolysate or Cow-Milk Formulas", Pediatrics, December 27, 2010, © American Academy of Pediatrics
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