Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Choosing an Infant Formula

Lactose intolerance is something that happens as we age. In some cultures, where virtually every adult is lactose intolerant, the ability to manufacture the lactase enzyme starts to diminish at about the time of weaning. Before the age of about three, therefore, hardly any babies have lactose intolerance.


Except if they have something go wrong with their intestines. It doesn't take much. A bout of the so-called "Stomach flu" (really a gastrointestinal problem) can knock out the lactase making machinery for a few weeks until the intestines heal.

Dairy allergies are totally different. Babies can have them. In fact, most babies who are allergic to dairy when they're young grow out of it by, yep, about the time of weaning, ages two or three.

In both cases parents will want a lactose-free infant formula. Breast milk can contain dairy proteins from the mother's diet, so unless she goes onto an absolutely strict and rigid no-milk diet, the baby is still at risk.

I'm no expert on infant formulas. The matter is best taken up with you and your doctor. Some basic information, though, can be found on a site I just added to my LI Links page, Choosing an Infant Formula.

One part is particularly important:

Soy formulas are made with soy protein and are lactose free. Brands include Enfamil ProSobee, Similac Isomil, and Nestle Good Start Supreme Soy. They are good for children who don't tolerate lactose or milk proteins.

Elemental formulas are also lactose free and are made with hydrolysate proteins, which are easy to digest for infants with protein allergies. Types of elemental formulas include Nutramigen, Pregestamil and Alimentum.

If you have a family history of food allergies or formula intolerances, you might choose to start your baby off with a soy or elemental formula if you do not want to breastfeed.

Lactose free formulas, such as Lactofree and Similac Lactose free are made without lactose, but do have cow's milk proteins in them. Infants are not usually thought to be born with a lactose intolerance, so these formulas are usually not needed.

There's much more on that page, so read it all.

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