Novel baby formula demonstrates better energy efficiency and tolerance compared to existing commercial formula, says recent study

A recent study compared the effects of a new baby formula containing whole milk (bovine), alpha-lactalbumin enriched whey, lactoferrin, partially hydrolyzed whey protein, and a single prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) with a commercial formula containing skim milk (bovine), whey protein concentrate, and a combination of GOS/PDX.

A recent study1 compared the effects of a new baby formula containing whole milk (bovine), alpha-lactalbumin enriched whey, lactoferrin, partially hydrolyzed whey protein, and a single prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) with a commercial formula containing skim milk (bovine), whey protein concentrate, and a combination of GOS/PDX. The new baby formula, called ByHeart, is touted as being as close to breast milk as possible with the inclusion of alpha-lactalbumin and lactoferrin, which is found in human milk.

According to the study, formula-fed infants consume more energy and protein, and therefore gain more weight than human milk-fed infants which can increase the risk of short and long-term adverse events. Additionally, to compensate for the lower bioavailability of amino acids, the minimum protein content is high in infant formula than human milk. It has been hypothesized that excess protein intake at infancy may change endocrine and metabolic programming with potential impacts on obesity and disease risk.

In the study, infants were fed either the commercial infant formula or ByHeart for 24 weeks. Results showed that infants consuming ByHeart had lower formula and mean protein intake, with higher levels of serum essential amino acid (including tryptophan), compared to infants consuming the commercial formula. It was also observed that energy efficiency was 14% higher for weight, 13% higher for length, and 18.1% higher for head circumference in infants consumer ByHeart, compared to those consuming the commercial infant formula. ByHeart also resulted in fewer spit-ups and softer stool consistency.

"I am extremely proud of the thoroughness of design and execution of this study, as we went well above the industry standard,” explained Bruce German, PhD, in a press release. German is an author of the study and a distinguished professor of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis. “The fact that the study was done at all – let alone by a new brand ­– is also notable, as almost all changes to infant formula these days are done through ingredient additions, thus avoiding a comprehensive trial such as this one," he continued.

"ByHeart was bold in rewriting the recipe for infant formula, and even more progressive as the only new entrant in years to run our own clinical trial in order to provide the reassurance that parents deserve when choosing a product to feed their babies,” said Devon Kuehn, MD, ByHeart’s Chief Medical Officer and a neonatologist whose team oversaw the trial’s analysis and the development of the published manuscript. “Infant formula needs real innovation, and it's vital that the category is held to a standard of new research – for every formula on the market – so that can we can effectively evolve infant nutrition. We were proud to be awarded publication of this data by the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, as it represents a significant leap forward for the nutrition provided by easy to digest infant formula."

ByHeart launched its formula earlier this year.

Reference

  1. Kuehn D et al. “Effects of a novel high-quality protein infant formula on energetic efficiency and tolerance: a randomized trial.” Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Published online ahead of print on June 6, 2022