Aim: We examined the effects on gastrointestinal (GI) tolerance of a novel infant formula that combined specific fermented formula (FERM) with short-chain galacto-oligosaccharides and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scGOS/lcFOS), with a 9:1 ratio and concentration of 0.8 g/100 mL.
Methods: This prospective, double-blind, randomised, controlled trial comprised 432 healthy, term infants aged 0-28 days whose parents decided to not start, or discontinued, breastfeeding. Infant formula with scGOS/lcFOS+50%FERM, scGOS/lcFOS+15%FERM, 50%FERM and scGOS/lcFOS were tested. Parents completed standardised seven-day diaries on GI symptoms, crying, sleeping and stool characteristics each month until the infants were 17 weeks.
Results: All the formulas were well tolerated. At four weeks, the overall incidence of infantile colic was significantly lower (8%) with scGOS/lcFOS+50%FERM than scGOS/lcFOS (20%, p = 0.034) or 50%FERM (20%, p = 0.036). Longitudinal modelling showed that scGOS/lcFOS+50%FERM-fed infants also displayed a persistently lower daily crying duration and showed a consistent stool-softening effect than infants who received formula without scGOS/lcFOS.
Conclusion: The combination of fermented formula with scGOS/lcFOS was well tolerated and showed a lower overall crying time, a lower incidence of infantile colic and a stool-softening effect in healthy term infants. These findings suggest for the first time that a specific infant formula has a preventive effect on infantile colic in formula-fed infants.
Keywords: Fermented formula; Gastrointestinal tolerance; Infant formula; Infantile colic; Prebiotic.
©2017 The Authors. Acta Paediatrica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation Acta Paediatrica.