Infant Formula: Highly Hydrolyzed Formula Can Lower Risk of Having Type 1 Diabetes – Study

By on Jun 14, 2011 in Food, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting, Science Comments

A recent global study distributed last Thursday, June 9, 2011, revealed that a right infant formula can save children from infant diabetes.

Bottled Milk
Bottled Milk
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According to the study, which was published in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition, if a mother moved from breastfreeding to a “highly hydrolyzed formula,” which is said to have been broken down for easier digestion, the infant may have a lower risk of having type 1 diabetes.

The study is headed by Dr. Mikael Knip of the University of Helsinki. Infants with an HLA genotype were the subject of the study as they are said to have a higher risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Reports said that infants who underwent the transition from breastfeeding to the highly hydrolyzed formula showed positive results. By the age of five, signs of diabetes were said to decrease by 50% compared to children who moved from breastfeeding directly to foods like fruits, cereals, berries, roots or other types of formula.

According to reports published on several news sites, the findings of the study were confirmed in a follow-up analysis when the children were already 10 years old. The trial is being conducted in 77 centers in 15 countries worldwide, reports said.

Below is the abstract of their report as published on the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition website:

Early feeding and risk of type 1 diabetes: experiences from the Trial to Reduce Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in the Genetically at Risk (TRIGR)
Mikael Knip, Suvi M Virtanen, Dorothy Becker, John Dupré, Jeffrey P Krischer, Hans K Åkerblom, and for the TRIGR Study Group

Short-term breastfeeding and early exposure to complex dietary proteins, such as cow milk proteins and cereals, or to fruit, berries, and roots have been implicated as risk factors for β cell autoimmunity, clinical type 1 diabetes, or both. The Trial to Reduce Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in the Genetically at Risk (TRIGR) is an international, randomized, double-blind, controlled intervention trial designed to answer the question of whether weaning to an extensively hydrolyzed formula in infancy will decrease the risk of type 1 diabetes later in childhood. In our pilot study, weaning to a highly hydrolyzed formula decreased by ≈50% the cumulative incidence of one or more diabetes-associated autoantibodies by a mean age of 4.7 y. This finding was confirmed in a recent follow-up analysis to 10 y of age. Currently, the full-scale TRIGR takes place in 77 centers in 15 countries. The TRIGR initially recruited 5606 newborn infants with a family member affected by type 1 diabetes and enrolled 2159 eligible subjects who carried a risk-conferring HLA genotype. All recruited mothers were encouraged to breastfeed. The intervention lasted for 6–8 mo with a minimum study formula exposure time of 2 mo, and hydrolyzed casein and standard cow milk–based weaning formulas were compared. Eighty percent of the participants were exposed to the study formula. The overall retention rate over the first 5 y was 87%, and protocol compliance was 94%. The randomization code will be opened when the last recruited child turns 10 y of age (ie, in 2017).

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