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Infant formula with fat blend benefits intestinal flora

By RJ Whitehead , 24-Dec-2012

A new Israeli study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, claims to have demonstrated for the first time that InFat advanced lipids, a high beta-palmitate fat blend, provides beneficial effects for the health and well-being of formula-fed infants. 

Sponsored by Enzymotec, which is part of a joint-venture with AAK to market InFat, the double-blind, randomised, multi-centre study showed a significant increase in Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria abundance in the microbiota, shifting the flora composition to be more comparable to breastfed infants.

It was conducted at the neonatology departments of the Bnai Zion Medical Centre, Haifa, and Meir Medical Centre, Kfar Saba. The microflora analyses were performed by Sima Yaron at the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion Institute of Technology. 

The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of InFat on the intestinal flora of term infants. The clinical trial included 36 term infants—14 breast-fed and 22 formula-fed— who were randomly assigned to receive either formula with high beta-palmitate InFat or a control formula of standard vegetable oil mix that did not contain any pre- or probiotics. Stool samples were collected at enrollment and at six weeks post-natal for the quantification of different bacteria constituting the gut flora.

This trial indicates that InFat can significantly improve infant formula, making it closer to mother’s milk in terms of infants' flora composition,” explained Yael Lifshitz, director of R&D at Enzymotec Infant Nutrition. 

InFat is a patented, clinically-proven fat blend of beta-palmitate structured lipids for infant formula with a high percentage of palmitic acid in its SN-2 position. This mimics the unique composition of human milk fat, which is highly conserved in all women’s breast milk, and thereby enables optimised uptake of calcium and energy as well as easy digestion. Recently, InFat has been shown to benefit bone strength parameters in term infants after 12 weeks of feeding.

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