Summary: Improved Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Associated with Bovine Milk Fat Globule Membrane and Lactoferrin in Infant Formula

This summary has been adapted from “Improved Neuro-developmental Outcomes Associated with Bovine Milk Fat Globule Membrane and Lactoferrin in Infant Formula: A Randomised, Controlled Trial, The Journal of Paediatrics (2019)”. 

The milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) is a component of both bovine milk and human breast milk. MFGM contains a triglyceride core that is surrounded by phospholipid layers that are embedded with proteins (1). Many infant formulas currently contain vegetable oils as a way to make up for the fat content in human breast milk. Unfortunately, vegetable oils do not contain MFGM native to mammalian milk. This discrepancy leads to the need to investigate and understand the impact of MFGM on infant health. A double blind study was performed by several doctors in Anhui Province of China in which two groups of infants were monitored. The first group was set to receive infant formula with bovine milk containing MFGM while the other group received an infant formula without MFGM.

Figure 1. The MFGM structure.
https://www.arlafoodsingredients.com/early-life-nutrition/our-ingredients/milk-fat-globule-membrane/

The factors that were monitored in these infants were their neurological development determined by the ‘Bayley Scales of Infant Development’, weight and medically confirmed adverse events. The Bayley Scales of infant developments evaluates infants and children from 1 to 42 months of age. The scale assess language in receptive and expressive communication, motor skills, and social/emotional and adaptive skills (2). The results of this study showed that out of the 451 participants, 228 in the infant formula without MFGM and 223 in the MFGM group, no difference in body weight, length or head circumference were reported. No significant group differences were detected in social-emotional or general adaptive mean scores. During day 545 of this experiment, there were higher scores based on the Bayley Scales of sentence complexity in the MFGM group compared to the infant formula group without MFGM. In addition there were longer attention spans recorded in the MFGM group compared to the other group. Finally, the adverse reactions logged for both groups showed that babies fed the MFGM infant formula versus the group fed the infant formula without these components showed less incidences of respiratory tract infections, cough and diarrhoea. However, there was no difference in adverse reactions relating to the skin or eczema (3). In light of this evidence, Kendamil has prided itself in being one of the only infant formulas on the market that contains MFGM from the full fat milk of cows.

References:

  1. Heid HW, Keenan TW. Intracellular origin and secretion of milk fat globules. Eur J Cell Biol 2005;84:245-58.
  2. Albers CA, Grieve AJ. Test Review: Bayley, N. (2006). Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development– Third Edition. San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Assessment. J Psychoeduc Assess 2007;25:180-90.
  3. Li F, Wu SS, Berseth CL, Harris CL, Richards JD, Wampler JL, Zhuang W, Cleghorn G, Rudolph CD, Liu B, Shaddy DJ, Colombo J. Improved Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Associated with Bovine Milk Fat Globule Membrane and Lactoferrin in Infant Formula: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. J Pediatr. 2019 Dec;215:24-31.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2019.08.030. Epub 2019 Oct 24. PMID: 31668885.
Summary: Improved Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Associated with Bovine Milk Fat Globule Membrane and Lactoferrin in Infant Formula

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