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Weight Gain Accelerated With Cow Milk Formula

Study compares cow milk formula, protein hydrolysate formula in infants

TUESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Infants fed cow milk formula (CMF) seem to experience accelerated weight gain compared with infants fed protein hydrolysate formula (PHF), which seems to result in earlier satiety and leads to normative weight gain, according to research published online Dec. 27 in Pediatrics.

Julie A. Mennella, Ph.D., of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomly assigned infants to PHF or CMF between 0.5 and 7.5 months of age and calculated their anthropometric z scores. They compared the infants' growth and formula acceptance trajectories over seven months.

The researchers found that the infants fed PHF had significantly lower weight-for-length z scores than CMF-fed babies, but that there were no differences in length-for-age z scores, indicating that the groups differed in weight gain, not length gain. The PHF-fed infants also consumed less formula to satiation during monthly observations and had significantly slower weight gain velocity.

"Z-score trajectories indicate that CMF-fed infants' weight gain was accelerated, whereas PHF-fed infants' weight gain was normative. Whether such differences in growth are because of differences in the protein content or amino acid profile of the formulas and, in turn, metabolism is unknown. Research on the long-term consequences of these early growth differences is needed," the authors conclude.

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