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Formula is far inferior to breastmilk, which is why babies should be breastfed whenever possible (this segues of course into the fact that mothers need to be educated and supported in breastfeeding, which they are NOT). But is it possible to make formula better? “The intestinal flora of breast-fed infants is generally dominated by Bifidobacteria. We aimed to investigate whether an infant formula supplemented with galacto-oligosaccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides (GOS/FOS) is able to establish a bifido-dominant microflora…Two groups of infants fed infant formula with 0.8 g/100 ml GOS/FOS in a ratio of 9:1 (OSF group), or control formula (SF group) were evaluated in a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled intervention study. A breast-fed group was studied in parallel…After 6 weeks, the mean proportion of bifidobacteria was significantly higher in the OSF group…Compared with controls, infants in the OSF group had a lower stool mean pH and an increased proportion of acetate and a decreased proportion of propionate. The mean pH in the OSF and SF groups were 5.7 and 6.3, respectively…The addition of the prebiotic GOS/FOS mixture to an infant formula has a stimulating effect on the growth of bifidobacteria…The changes in short chain fatty acids, lactate and pH in the prebiotic group represent a fermentation profile that is closer to that observed in breast-fed infants compared to infants fed control formula.” So if you need to feed your baby formula, consider adding GOS and/or FOS to the formula (at around 0.8 grams per 100mls) along with DHA
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