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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Apr;63(4):646S-50S.

Infant formula, past and future: opportunities for improvement.

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Combined Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, 02114, U.S.A.


Infant formulas provide nutritional support to health infants that promotes growth and development equivalent to that in healthy infants fed human milk. Formula-fed infants are not as well protected against infections, and there remain infants whose health, growth, and development may not be supported optimally by either the formulas currently available or human milk. Some infants may be better supported by genetically engineered formulas that contain immunity-enhancing antibodies or antigens. Formulas that contain cytokines promoting epithelial cell growth and integrity may be protective against necrotizing enterocolitis. Formulas containing proteins with genetically excluded allergenic epitopes or formulas with tolerogenic peptides may be useful in treating allergic diseases of suppressing the development of autoimmune disorders later in life. Formulas with genetically engineered biologically active substances might increase the absorption of nutrients in infants with compromised absorption or digestion, enhance host immunity and mucosal integrity, and, potentially militate or protect against the risk of disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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