Our immune system works hard to protect us from infections by attacking the viruses and bacteria that can make us ill. An allergic reaction to food occurs when the body’s immune system responds inappropriately to something in a particular food. In the case of cow’smilk allergy (CMA) the immune system overreacts to one or more “proteins” contained in cow’s milk¹. CMA is the most common food allergy in early childhood, affecting 2-5% of infants¹. Symptoms are broad (e.g. diarrhoea, wheezing and eczema) and can be distressing for both the infant and their families.
The role of specialised nutrition
Breastfeeding makes sure that babies get the best nutrition possible to grow and develop healthily. Breastfeeding is also known to be very important for mother-child bonding. Although breastfeeding is best for children, CMA babies who are very sensitive, can have allergic reactions. This does not mean that they are allergic to breast milk itself, but rather they are reacting to the small amounts of cow’s milk proteins that pass from mother to baby in breast milk. If the mother feels that removing dairy from her diet isn’t possible, a healthcare professional may recommend that baby is switched to a specialised ‘hypoallergenic’ formula. Hypoallergenic formulae tend to come in two forms: extensively hydrolysed milk formula (eHF) and amino acid based formula (AAF). Unlike eHFs, AAFs are not based on cow’s milk, thereby reducing the possibility of a CMA reaction.²
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Future based research
Today, research on the ketogenic diet is being published at a rate never seen before. There is a significant amount of evidence that shows seizure improvement in approximately half of children on the ketogenic diet. Our researchers are currently investigating new and innovative products to improve the quality of life for many patients with epilepsy, and their families.
We continually strive to develop further breakthrough ideas that help us live up to our vision, designing a comprehensive porpolio of products to be used in the classical ketogenic diet for both infants and children as a sole source of nutrition, e.g. in tube-fed children or bottle-fed babies. Alongside that, the Nutricia porpolio provides several nutrition options to support the oral ketogenic diet with the powdered and ready-to-feed liquid variants as well as specific modules.
All the products are classified as Food for Special Medical Purposes and Medical Food and are intended for patients who are medically diagnosed, for use under medical supervision.
¹ DRAMCA. WAO Journal April 2010.
² Wood. Pediatrics Vol. 111 No. 6 June 2003.
³ Kwan P et al. Early identification of refractory epilepsy. N Engl J Med 2000:342;314-319
⁴ Freeman J et al. The ketogenic diet: a treatment for epilepsy in children and others. 2007. 4th ed. Demos, New York.
⁵ Neal EG et al. Lancet Neurol 2008;7:500-506.
⁶ Keene DL. Ped Neurol. 2006;35(1):1-3.
⁷ Henderson GB et al. J Child Neurol 2006;21 (3):193-198.
⁸ Kossoff EH et al. Epilepsia 2009:febr50(2)304-317.
⁹ Levy R, Cooper P. Update in Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;3:CD001903.