Hypoallergenic baby formula may not help prevent allergies

The Hypoallergenic infant formula is no more effective than regular cow’s milk at reducing the chances of contraction of allergies among high-risk infants up to seven years of age, a new study has revealed.

The trial, which is one the largest to test the effect of hypoallergenic baby formula, involved 620 infants and assessed whether using the formula decreased the risk of allergy in later life.

Infants in the study were given either hypoallergenic, cow”s milk or soy formula after the cessation of breastfeeding. Allergy testing was undertaken at six, 12 and 24 months and children were followed up again at six or seven years of age.

“In our study of high risk children, this ”hypoallergenic” formula did not show any beneficial effect, when compared with a normal cows” milk based formula, for the prevention childhood eczema, asthma or hay fever up to seven years of age,” said Dr. Adrian Lowe, a research fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Lead author David Hill said: “Our findings do not support the role of hypoallergenic formula for the prevention of allergic disease. Families at high risk of allergy should continue to be encouraged to breast feed for the many known benefits associated with breastfeeding.”
The study has been published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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