A new study has determined that infants fed formula, rather than breast milk, experience significant metabolic stress that could play a part in the long-recognized link between formula-feeding and an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other conditions in adult life. The current research showed a link between formula-feeding and a higher risk for chronic diseases later in life; however, an explanation for that link is still missing. Rhesus monkeys in this study were formula fed or breast fed.
The comparative analysis of monkeys’ urine, blood and stool samples identified key differences between formula-fed and breast-fed individuals. It also produced hints that reducing the protein content of infant formula might be beneficial in reducing the metabolic stress in formula-fed infants. “Our findings support the contention that infant feeding practice profoundly influences metabolism in developing infants and may be the link between early feeding and the development of metabolic disease later in life,” the study states.
Aifric O’Sullivan, Xuan He, Elizabeth M. S. McNiven, Neill W. Haggarty, Bo Lönnerdal, Carolyn M. Slupsky. Early Diet Impacts Infant Rhesus Gut Microbiome, Immunity, and Metabolism. Journal of Proteome Research, 2013; : 130523132331005 DOI: 10.1021/pr4001702