A study of more than 300 children found they had fewer acute respiratory infections
A study involving a follow-up formula (FUF) containing a combination of DHA, a prebiotic blend of PDX and GOS, and yeast β-glucan given to three- and four-year-old children has shown that the youngsters who consumed the FUF had fewer episodes and shorter duration of acute respiratory infections (P = .007) than those consuming an unfortified cow’s milk-based beverage.
The children also required fewer antibiotic treatments (P = .01) and missed fewer days of care due to illness, the study found.
In addition, the FUF group had both higher interleukin-10 and white blood cell (WBC) counts at the end of the study, suggesting an anti-inflammatory mechanism and/or an increase of effector immune cells. (WBC counts remained in the normal range.)
The results of the study were published in this month\'s issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In the double-blind, randomised, controlled, prospective trial, 3–4 year old children were fed three servings a day of either a FUF containing 25mg DHA, 1.2g PDX/GOS, and 8.7mg yeast β-glucan (Wellmune WGP) for each serving, or an unfortified, cow’s milk-based beverage (control) for 28 weeks. Faecal and blood samples were collected to assess immune markers and iron/zinc status. Incidence of acute respiratory infections, diarrhoeal disease, and antibiotic treatment were obtained from medical records.
This research demonstrates the importance of supporting the developing immune systems of young children
\'As the study’s authors noted, children are vulnerable to diet inadequacies, which may affect immune function,\' said Donald Cox, Senior Vice President, Healthcare Research & Development at Biothera, the manufacturer of Wellmune WGP.
\'This research demonstrates the importance of supporting the developing immune systems of young children.\'
Wellmune WGP is an ingredient in Mead Johnson Nutrition\'s Enfagrow and Enfakid Premium children nutritional products in numerous countries in Asia and Latin America.
The FUF used in this study was designed by Mead Johnson Nutrition and is not a marketed product at this time.