Comparison of a lactose-free cereal-based formula and cow's milk in infants and children with acute gastroenteritis

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1988 Mar-Apr;7(2):208-13. doi: 10.1097/00005176-198803000-00009.


Sixty children less than 2 years of age suffering from mild acute gastroenteritis with less than 5% dehydration were randomly assigned to two different isocaloric feeding regimens, viz., a locally prepared milk-free formulation (group A) of rice, lentil, sugar, and coconut oil and a spray dried commercial cow's milk formula (group B). There were two treatment failures in group A and one in group B. The postintervention duration of diarrhea (days) in group A (11.0 +/- 10.0) was higher than in group B (7.6 +/- 10.8), but these differences were not significant (p greater than 0.05). The energy intake (kcal/kg/24 h) on postintervention day 4 was 78.7 +/- 31.7 in group A and 101.3 +/- 41.1 in group B (p greater than 0.05). The corresponding values for day 7 were 74.2 +/- 29.1 and 110.0 +/- 41.1, respectively (p less than 0.05). The mean weight gain (g/kg/24 h) between admission and the day of recovery in group A (2.0 +/- 4.2) was significantly lower (p less than 0.05) than in group B (5.8 +/- 7.8). Similar trends in weight gain were observed at days 4 and 7. These findings suggest that a cow's milk-based formula is well tolerated by majority of the infants with mild acute gastroenteritis after initial rehydration with ORS. The infants who were fed the milk-free cereal-based diet showed significantly less energy intake and gained weight less rapidly than those who were fed the cow's milk-based formula.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Dehydration / therapy*
  • Edible Grain
  • Energy Intake
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Gastroenteritis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food*
  • Lactose*
  • Milk*
  • Random Allocation


  • Lactose