July 18, 2011

Do partially hydrolyzed infant formulas prevent allergies in high risk infants?

Research from Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne has found that partially hydrolyzed whey infant formula (PHF) is no better at preventing the development of allergies in high risk infants than regular cows milk infant formula or soy formula. PHF is usually recommended for non breast fed infants with a family history of allergy.

The study enrolled 620 infants at high risk of allergies before birth and allocated them to receive either PHF, regular cows milk infant formula or soy infant formula when breastfeeding was discontinued. Allergic reactions to egg, milk, peanut, dust mite, rye grass and cat dander by skin prict test was measured at 6,12 and 24 months. Children were monitored up to age 7 years.

The study found no decreased risk of allergies in those children given the PHF compared to those given the regular cows milk or soy milk formula. The PHA formula made no difference to the development of hay fever, asthma or eczema although there was no increased risk of allergies in those using the PHF. For those families at high risk of allergies breast feeding is the preferred method of feeding.


Lowe AJ, Hosking CS et al. Effect of parially hydrolyzed whey infant formula at weaning on risk of allergic disease in high-risk children: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2011. Published on line 23 June 2011



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There is really a high risk for allergies among infants and newly born babies if the milk that is introduced is not from the mother's breast. It is important for the baby to at least drink the colostrum before introducing synthetic kinds of milk products. This will surely make the immune system of the babies stronger.

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