Formula no protection from allergy

AN AUSTRALIAN trial finding hypoallergenic infant formula is not protective against allergic disease in high-risk infants may change current advice about its use, an expert says.

Dr Ray Mullins, past president of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), said the study showed the use of partially hydrolysed whey formula (pHWF) in the absence of known allergy to dairy or soy was likely to be ineffective.

The finding contrasted with Australian and international guidelines suggesting the formulas might reduce risk.

“The study is an important contribution to the literature and is likely to result in review of current recommendations regarding allergy prevention,” Dr Mullins said.

The trial of 620 infants with a family history of allergic disease found no difference in eczema or allergy tests to milk, egg or peanut in the first two years of life among those randomised to pHWF, soy formula or cow’s