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Growth and development with infant formula

Research project This research group is working on a new infant formula, which they hope will lead to smaller differences in growth, development, acute illness and future health problems compared to infants who are breast fed.

Head of project

Olle Hernell
Professor emeritus
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2010-03-10 2015-01-01

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Clinical Sciences

Research subject

Clinical medicine

Project description

Today, there is strong scientific support for the theory that nutrition in utero and during the first time of life influences growth and illness later in life. Formula-fed infants have disadvantages compared to breast-fed infants. Formula-fed children have higher risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease in adult life. There are also differences in infectious diseases and neurodevelopment. All these differences can potentially be explained by differences between the content of formula and human milk.

Our research group has designed a new infant formula which is unique in the world today. It has lower energy density and lower protein content compared to standard formula and is supplemented with biologically active factors, MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane). Our hypothesis is that infants fed with the modified formula will differ less from breast-fed infants regarding growth, development, acute illness and future health problems compared to infants fed with standard formula. We will compare children fed with modified formula to children fed with standard formula and breast-fed children with close follow up of growth, metabolic factors, neurodevelopment and illness until 5 years of age. Our innovation has potential for substantial health winnings as well as commercial use.