Whey hydrolysate compared with cow's milk-based formula for weaning at about 6 months of age in high allergy-risk infants: effects on atopic disease and sensitization.Allergy 1996; 51(3):192-5A
Ninety-one high atopy-risk infants were prospectively followed up to 18 months of age with regard to the development of allergic/atopic manifestations and sensitization. They were randomized into one of two feeding groups, i.e., a hydrolyzed, ultrafiltered cow's milk whey formula, Profylac (n = 32), or an ordinary cow's milk formula (n = 39), for 12 months, started after exclusive breast-feeding for 0-9 (median 6.0) months. Lactating mothers avoided milk, egg, and fish, as did the infants up to 12 months of age. Twenty of the 91 infants were breast-fed exclusively for more than 9 months and regarded as a control group. All infants were followed-up by questionnaires, physical examinations, skin prick tests, and determination of serum total IgE and cow' milk-specific IgE. The frequency of allergic/atopic disease was similar in the three groups. However, all three infants who developed cow's milk allergy with skin symptoms belonged to the cow's milk formula group. The skin prick test with whey hydrolysate was negative in all, while with cow's milk it was positive in eight infants. Growth was similar in the three groups. The study comprises too few infants to allow us to make statistically based statements. However, the difficulties encountered and the limited effects obtained by the use of whey hydrolysate at weaning at about 6 months of age made us conclude that we can spare high atopy-risk families this extra burden.