Feeding babies with infant formula enriched with Arla Foods Ingredients’ Lacprodan® OPN-10 supports their immune development, according to the results of a new trial.
Lacprodan OPN-10 is made from the whey protein osteopontin, a bioactive component associated with the maturation of the infant immune system. Osteopontin is found in high concentrations in human milk—about 138mg per litre—but in much lower concentrations in bovine milk (about 15 mg per litre). This means infants fed regular formula have a limited intake compared with their breastfed counterparts.
Researchers from China’s Fundan University Hospital and the University of California at Davis conducted a double-blind randomised clinical trial in which Chinese infants aged between one and six months were fed either regular infant formula or infant formula supplemented with Lacprodan OPN-10, with both groups compared with a reference group of breastfed babies.
The results showed that the babies who were given infant formula supplemented with Lacprodan OPN-10 experienced a similar number of days of fever to those fed breast milk, and a reduced number of days of fever compared with a control group fed ordinary infant formula. The study also demonstrated that Lacprodan OPN-10 is safe for use in infant formula.
The findings from the as-yet unpublished study were presented last week by Professor Bo Lönnerdal of the University of California at Davis during the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition & Growth, which took place from 30 January to 1 February 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
Lotte Neergaard Jacobsen, nutrition scientist at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “The development of Lacprodan OPN-10 is part of the quest to create infant formula that is more like breast milk. The results from this clinical study show that we have moved a step closer to achieving this. Osteopontin in the form of Lacprodan OPN-10 could be a significant missing link in creating infant formula that can deliver a similar level of immune protection to that offered by mother’s milk.”
Experts at Arla Foods Ingredients have developed and patented the purification of osteopontin from cows’ milk and its application in infant and follow-on formulas, making it possible to create products with the same concentration of osteopontin as breast milk.