High protein intake in early life has been shown to cause rapid weight gain, which has been associated with an increased risk of obesity and associated disorders in later life. Lowering the protein concentration of formulas has been suggested as a preventive strategy for reducing the risk of overweight and obesity in children. However, more research on the long-term effect on body composition is still needed.
The primary limiting factor in low-protein formulations is the need to ensure the required level of amino acids. Lowering the total protein content places higher demands on the quality of the protein ingredients in the formulation.
Alpha-lactalbumin, the most abundant protein in human milk, has a high content of essential amino acids, making it a key ingredient in low-protein formulations. Arla Foods Ingredients has developed two ingredients rich in alpha-lactalbumin making it possible to optimise the protein content and composition of the formula and simultaneously meeting the requirements for essential amino acids.
Arla Foods Ingredients supports the WHO recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life and continued breastfeeding up to the age of two or beyond in combination with nutritionally appropriate complementary foods.