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Infant formulas: What is it?

Infant formula milk formulas are developed mostly from cow's milk and the composition tends to be closer to breast milk.

There are more than 160 infant formula on the market.

Infant formula, however, can not replace breast milk, which contains all the elements necessary for growth and all the qualities for a harmonious development of the infant (digestibility, prevention of allergies, infections, obesity or diabetes and may be even better brain development).

Apart from breastfeeding, primarily recommended all babies should be fed with infant formula until the age of 3 years, under penalty of nutritional deficiencies.
What are the regulatory issues?

Directive 2006/141/EC of the European Commission of 22 December 2006 is intended to clarify and monitor compliance of the infant formula market.

Three types of infant formulas replace the old terms "formula" and "humanized".

Currently available, from birth to age 3 years:

  • Infant formula;
  • Follow-on formulas;
  • Milk and growth.

How are the different infant formula?
Current infant formula have a protein that has plummeted to get closer to that of breast milk (10 to 12 g / l).
It is milk for infants (first age) from birth until 4 to 6 months if breastfeeding.

Two formulas

  • Milk sterilized liquid.
  • Fluid milk powder to be reconstituted with boiled water with low mineral content marked "suitable for infants."

Three types of preparations
The preparations of proteins of cow's milk

  • reduced protein content (12 to 17 g / l).
  • Contribution of carbohydrates, usually associated with a mixture maltodextrin, lactose (lactose variable contents).
  • Fat content: 35 g / l on average (vegetable fats + essential fatty acids).
  • Sometimes addition of probiotics or prebiotics, which have a beneficial effect on the intestinal flora and prevention of infectious diarrhea.
  • New processes have resulted in a profile of essential fatty acids comparable to that of breast milk.

Hypoallergenic milks "HA"

  • These are preparations partial hydrolysates of protein (milk which has been 'broken' proteins).
  • They are available from birth up to 6 months in case of allergic risk (family history of intolerance to milk proteins)

The preparations of soy protein (does not contain lactose or soy GMOs)

  • They are less used.
  • In transitional power during severe diarrhea or allergic to cow's milk protein, but after the age of 6 months and after attempting a milk specific indications (extensive hydrolyzate of protein).
  • preparations or soy protein (sometimes hydrolyzed) or porcine collagen.
  • Choose preparations sold in pharmacies under the term "infant" or "follow-on formulas" because they are the only ones to be supplemented with certain amino acids (methionine, carnitine) and calcium.

Follow-on formulas

  • They are milks (2nd age): from 6 months to 12 months. Based proteins from cow's milk, they respond to infant formulas.
  • Milk adapted to the period of dietary diversification.
  • Providing sufficient protein.
  • Providing balanced vegetable fats and essential fatty acids, vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, iron and other minerals.

Growing-up milks

  • Milk adapted to the growth of the child up to 3 years, supplemented with vitamin D, iron and essential fatty acids.
  • Interest in relation to some UHT milk, often used too early to save money.
  • No risk of overweight cause, unlike cow's milk too rich in protein, bad saturated fats and insufficient content of iron and essential fatty acids.
Milks specific indications
Milk thickened or "AR" (pharmacy); "comfort" or "premium" (in supermarkets)

  • In case of regurgitation.
  • Milk thickened with rice starch or corn flour or carob (pharmacy only).
  • Milk interesting case of constipation (colic).

Lactose-free milk

  • In case of lactose intolerance.
  • Or recharge phase after prolonged acute diarrhea.

Extensive hydrolysis of proteins (protein hydrolysis further)

  • In case of:

- Recharge of acute diarrhea in infants less than 3 months;
- Severe prolonged diarrhea;
- Malabsorption;
- Cystic fibrosis;
- Allergy to cow's milk protein.

Acidified milks (with lactic acid)

  • In case of minor digestive disorders (abdominal pain, gas, bloating).
  • casein (the main protein in cow's milk) better tolerated and often reduced lactose content.

Milk "transit"

  • In case of constipation.
  • Milk sweetened mostly lactose which accelerates transit.
  • Risk of fermentation acids (gas, abdominal pain) if the baby enzyme capacities are insufficient.
  • Milk containing more complex carbohydrates (dextrin, maltose and starch) and many more casein
  • If child glutton.
  • Milk which slows stomach emptying and increase satiety (but can cause constipation).
Milk for premature or low birth weight babies

  • Protein content and higher sodium and lactose reduced.
  • Enriched with fat (medium chain triglycerides), vitamins (B9, C, D and E) and especially polyunsaturated fatty acids long-chain (LC-PUFA).
  • Enriched with probiotics in prevention necrotic ulcerative enterocolitis.

What should I be wary?

Be wary of soy preparations which are not indicated in case of intolerance to cow's milk proteins due to the associated risk of allergy.

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