Objective: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the safety of a new reduced protein (2.1 g/100 kcal) infant formula containing 4 g/L of 90% galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and 10% fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS).
Methods: Healthy term infants from Brazil were enrolled. Those born to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive mothers were randomized to a test (n = 65) or control (n = 63) formula group. Infants born to HIV-negative mothers were either exclusively breast-fed (n = 79) or received a mixed diet (breast milk and test formula, n = 65). Between 2 weeks and 4 months of age, infants were exclusively fed according to their assigned group. Anthropometric measurements were taken at baseline, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 months. Digestive tolerance was evaluated during the first 4 months. The primary outcome was mean daily weight gain between 2 weeks and 4 months in the test formula and breast-fed groups.
Results: Data from all infants (N = 272) were used in the intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis and data from 230 infants were used in the per-protocol (PP) analysis. The difference in mean daily weight gain between 2 weeks and 4 months in the test formula and breast-fed groups was 1.257 g/day (one-sided 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.705 to inf, P < 0.001) in the PP analysis, showing that the lower bound of the 95% CI was above the -3.0 g/day non-inferiority margin. Results were similar in the ITT analysis. Symptoms of digestive tolerance and frequency of adverse events were similar in the two groups.
Conclusions: The formula containing 2.1 g/100 kcal protein and GOS and FOS was safe and tolerated well.
Keywords: fructo-oligosaccharides; galacto-oligosaccharides; infant formula; safety; weight gain.