Infants consuming formula with lactoferrin versus the standard formula group showed a significant improvement in:
- Occurrences of diarrhea-related disturbances
- Occurrences of respiratory tract disturbances
- No significant difference versus the breastfed reference group was observed.
A prospective 3 month study by Chen et al. in 2016 evaluated diarrhea and respiratory tract infection outcomes. The study had 260 healthy 4- 6 month old infants who were previously exclusively breastfed. They were randomised into three groups. The first group received infant formula fortified with lactoferrin (FG). The second group received a similar infant formula control (CG) with no added lactoferrin. The third group was breastfed (BF).
Infants in the breastfed group (BF) and infant formula fortified with lactoferrin group (FG) demonstrated evidence of a lower incidence rate of respiratory related illnesses. Both groups also demonstrated fewer symptoms of running nose, cough, and wheezing versus the infant formula control group (CG). No significant differences between the formula fortified with lactoferrin group (FG) and the breastfed group (BF) were observed.
The infants in the breastfed group (BF) and the formula fortified with lactoferrin group (FG) also demonstrated significantly lower occurrences of diarrhea-related illnesses than those in the infant formula control group (CG) (P < 0.05).
For more information: Effect of bovine lactoferrin from iron-fortified formulas on diarrhea and respiratory tract infections of weaned infants in a randomised controlled trial. Chen et al. Nutrition Volume 32, Issue 2, February 2016, Pages 222-227et al.