Safety and tolerance assessment of milk fat globule membrane-enriched infant formulas in healthy term Chinese infants: a randomised multicenter controlled trial

BoWen Jiang, Yong Xia, LiHong Zhou, XiaoYing Liang, XuHui Chen, MeiZhen Chen, XiaoXia Li, Shan Lin, Nai Zhang, Ling Zheng, Miao Tao, Peter Petocz, Sophie Gallier, Angela Rowan, Bing Wang

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), natural to breast milk, is essential for neonatal development, but lacking from standard infant formulas.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the safety and tolerability of MFGM supplementation in formula for infants 0 to 12 months.

METHODS: In a prospective, multicentre, double-blind, randomized trial, healthy term infants were randomized to a standard formula (SF, n = 104) or an MFGM-enriched formula (MF, n = 108) for 6 months and a corresponding follow-on formula until 12 months. Exclusively breast-fed infants (n = 206) were recruited as the reference group (BFR). Tolerance and safety events were recorded continuously. Anthropometric measurements were assessed at enrolment, 42 days and 4, 6, 8 and 12 months.

RESULTS: Infants (n = 375) completed the study with average dropout of < 20%. Stool frequency, color, and consistency between SF and MF were not significantly different throughout, except the incidence of loose stools in MF at 6 months being lower than for SF (odds ratio 0.216, P < 0.05) and the frequency of green-colored stools at 12 months being higher in MF (CI 95%, odds ratio 8.92, P < 0.05). The BFR had a higher frequency of golden stools and lower rate of green stools (4-6 months) than the two formula-fed groups (P < 0.05). SF displayed more diarrhoea (4.8%) than MF (1%) and BFR (1%) at the 8-month visit (P < 0.05). BFR (0-1%) had significantly less (P < 0.05) lower respiratory infections than MF (4.6-6.5%) and SF (2.9-5.8%) at 6- and 8-months, respectively. Formula intake, frequency of spit-up/vomiting or poor sleep were similar between SF and MF. Growth rate (g/day) was similar at 4, 6, 8 and 12 months between the 3 groups, but growth rate for BFR was significantly higher than for SF and MF at 42 days (95% CI, P = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: MFGM-enriched formula was safe and well-tolerated in healthy term infants between 0 and 12 months, and total incidences of adverse events were similar to that for the SF group. A few differences in formula tolerance were observed, however these differences were not in any way related to poor growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 03 Aug 2022

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