Early life exposure helps ward off later allergies to cow’s milk formula
Daily intake of cow’s milk formula (CMF) in early life helps prevent the development of cow’s milk allergy (CMA) later on without competing with breastfeeding, a recent study has found.
The researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial, testing daily CMF ingestion (n=242) against avoidance (n=249). Infants between the ages of 1 and 2 months were enrolled into the trial and continued regular breastfeeding. CMA was assessed at 6 months of age via an oral food challenge (OFC).
Adherence to the intervention was high, with 89.9 percent of the CMF group ingesting the milk formula for at least 20 days per month. In the avoidance group, 83.0 percent were able to abstain from CMF for at least 20 days per month. The proportion of participants with daily CMF intake between 3 and 5 months of age was significantly higher in the ingestion group (p<0.001).
At 6 months of age, OFC-confirmed CMA was detected in 0.8 percent of the intervention group and 6.8 percent of the avoidance group, in the intention-to-treat population. Infants who were given CMF saw a significant reduction in CMA risk (risk ratio [RR], 0.12, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.01–0.05; p<0.001).
Results were better in the per-protocol analysis, where none of the ingestion participants tested positive for CMA, as opposed to 8.7 percent of the avoidance group (p<0.001).
The intervention safe, with no CMF-related adverse events recorded throughout the course of the study. Twenty patients, all in the avoidance group, developed transient gastrointestinal symptoms following the intake of soy formula. Overall, 30 participants had to withdraw from the study, though none were due to the trial formulas.