Background: Some of the health advantages of breast-fed as compared to formula-fed infants have been suggested to be due to metabolic programming effects resulting from early nutrition.
Methods: In a prospective double-blinded randomized trial, 160 infants <2 mo of age were randomized to experimental formula (EF) with added milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) or standard formula (SF) until 6 mo of age. A breast-fed reference (BFR) group consisted of 80 infants. Measurements were made at inclusion and at 4, 6, and 12 mo of age.
Results: During the intervention, the EF group had higher total serum cholesterol concentration than the SF group, reaching the level of the BFR group. The EF group had a low-density lipoprotein to high-density lipoprotein ratio not significantly different from the SF group but lower than the BFR group.
Conclusion: Supplementation of infant formula with MFGM modified the fat composition of the formula and narrowed the gap between breast-fed and formula-fed infants with regard to serum lipid status at 12 mo.