A new study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, challenged the benefits in using hypoallergenic formula (over conventional cow's milk-based formula) to prevent allergies in infants.
In one the largest trials to test the effects of hypoallergenic baby formula, researchers assessed 620 infants to see whether the hypoallergenic formula decreased the risk of allergy in later life.
After cessation of breastfeeding, the infants in the study were given either hypoallergenic, cow's milk or soy formula then allergy tested at various intervals: six, 12 and 24 months, with a follow-up at six or seven years of age.
"In our study of high risk children, this 'hypoallergenic' formula did not show any beneficial effect, when compared with a normal cows' milk based formula, for the prevention of childhood eczema, asthma or hay fever up to seven years of age," said Dr. Lowe, a research fellow at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the Centre for MEGA Epidemiology, the University of Melbourne
Lowe and his fellow researchers suggested that families with a high risk of allergies should continue to breastfeed where possible, but that there was no substantiated proof that hypoallergenic formula would prevent allergic disease. So now you know.