Reduced risk of atopic dermatitis with an α-lactalbumin-enriched and symbiotic-supplemented infant formula


α-lactalbumin is a known immunomodulator present in human milk. Supplementation with prebiotics or probiotics has been proposed to modify the composition of microbiota in adults and infants.

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  • Method:
    97 non-breastfed term neonates in France were randomly assigned to receive either experimental formula (n = 48) or standard formula (n = 49) for 6 months.
    • Experimental formula is fortified with: α-lactalbumin (0.3 g/100ml), fructo-oligosaccharide the (0.02 g/100ml), galacto-oligosaccharide (0.4 g/100ml)
  • Key findings:
    • Growth measured as body weight at 6 months of age was similar in both groups.
    • For infants in the experimental group:
    • At 1 month, exhibited significantly less crying or agitation, and more quiet behavior (p = 0.03).
    • At 6 months,
      - Atopic dermatitis was significantly less frequently observed (p < 0.05).
      - Faecal secretory IgA was at similar higher levels to that found at 1 month.
    • For infants in the control group:
    • Between 1 and 6 months, decrease of faecal secretory IgA was observed. This was significantly associated with atopic dermatitis (p < 0.005).
  • Conclusion:
    The α-lactalbumin-enriched and symbiotic-supplemented infant formula results in similar growth, better tolerated and reduced risk of atopic dermatitis.


Breast milk is best for babies. Infant formula is intended to replace breast milk when mothers do not breastfeed. Good maternal nutrition is important for preparation and maintenance of breastfeeding. Introducing partial bottle feeding could negatively affect breastfeeding, and reversing a decision not to breastfeed is difficult. Professional advice should be followed on infant feeding. Infant formula should be prepared and used as directed. Unnecessary or improper use of infant formula may present a health hazard. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of infant feeding.




Rozé JC, Barbarot S, Butel MJ, Kapel N, Waligora-Dupriet AJ, De Montgolfier I, Leblanc M, Godon N, Soulaines P, Darmaun D, Rivero M, Dupont C. An α-lactalbumin-enriched and symbiotic-supplemented v. a standard infant formula: a multicentre, double-blind, randomised trial. Br J Nutr. 2012 Jun;107(11):1616-22. Epub 2011 Nov 14. Link to PubMed

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