Are too many infants drinking lactose-reduced and hypoallergenic formula?
Lactose reduction or elimination in infant formula is warranted in specific medical circumstances, but most healthy infants can digest lactose as it is the carbohydrate source in human milk. A recent analysis published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy found that from 2017–2019, U.S. purchases of hypoallergenic or lactose-reduced formula exceeded estimates of medical need.
The analysis revealed that 5.5% of formula purchased was hypoallergenic. Additionally, 59% of formula purchased was lactose-reduced and overall, 47% of the carbohydrate source in formula was not lactose.
"This study suggests that there are many infants consuming hypoallergenic and lactose-reduced formulas that don't need to be. The amount of standard formula purchased that was lactose-reduced was noteworthy." said corresponding author Bridget E. Young, Ph.D., of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. "This work highlights ways we can improve formula regulation in the US."
More information: Alexander J. Strzalkowski et al, Protein and carbohydrate content of infant formula purchased in the United States, Clinical & Experimental Allergy (2022). DOI: 10.1111/cea.14232