You’ve been prescribed an infant formula by your child’s doctor? You want to make sure your baby gets everything he or she needs? The most critical are the proteins in the different formulas. Intact milk proteins and protein fragments, as used in the majority of infant formulas, can cause allergic reactions. There are four kinds of infant formula classes:
Only eHF and AAF are considered true hypoallergenic formulas and therefore suitable for the dietary management of CMA.
|Base milks||Base milks or standard infant formulas you can buy in your supermarket or local shop are not suitable for food allergic babies. This is because they are basically cow’s milk powder which has been modified to fit an infant’s needs and therefore contain cow’s milk proteins. These proteins can cause allergic reactions in babies with CMA.|
|HA milks||So called HA milks, also available in shops and supermarkets, are infant formulas meant to prevent allergies as those formulas are slightly less allergenic than base milks. This kind of formula is a good idea if you or another family member is allergic or has been suffering from food allergy in the past, but your baby does not yet show any allergy symptoms. HA milks consist of cow’s milk but its proteins have been partially broken down. Yet the protein fragments are still big enough to interact with the immune system and trigger an allergic reactioncan interact with the immune system and trigger allergic reactions.|
|Extensively hydrolysed formulas (eHF)||Extensively hydrolysed formulas (eHF) are prescribed by the doctor for the dietary management of CMA. Here the cow’s milk protein has been broken down into small fragments. Depending on the type of milk allergy (immediate or delayed), eHFs can cause allergic symptoms in some cow's milk allergic children.|
|Amino acid-based formulas (AAF)||The so-called amino acid-based formulas (AAF) are prescribed by the doctor for the dietary management of CMA. Neocate products are similar to most other infant milks except for one important difference. Instead of being based on protein, they are based on amino acids, otherwise known as the building blocks of protein. These amino acids are not recognised by the immune system and thus do not provoke any allergic reaction in infants with cow’s milk allergy.|