A few months ago, I reported on a study that found certain infant formulas could be linked to childhood obesity and future health problems for kids. Today's news is about a study that has found that certain infant formulas may actually reduce a child's future risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.
Just to be clear, this study did not compare breastfed infants to formula-fed infants. Rather, it looked at the critical period when infants transition from breastfeeding to regular food. The study, published in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition, found that when a baby is transitioned from breastfeeding to a "highly hydrolized" formula rather than directly to foods such as cereals or fruit, she may have a lower risk of developing Type 1 diabetes than her peers who transitioned straight from breastfeeding to food.
The study is based on clinical trials that were conducted in 77 centers in 15 countries worldwide. Researchers examined 230 infants with an HLA-genotype that makes them particularly susceptible to Type 1 diabetes. When these kids were given extensively hydrolyzed casein hydrolysate formula instead of cow's milk formula, their risk of developing diabetes by the age of 10 years old decreased by 50 percent.
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