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Infant formula triggers fatal reaction in premature babies
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Infant formula can cause a fatal intestinal reaction, especially in premature babies

Infant formula can cause a fatal intestinal reaction, especially in premature babies. Most formulas start cell death (cytotoxicity) within five minutes, and could be a major cause of infant fatalities.
Necrotizing enterocolitis is a severe intestinal condition that is often fatal in premature babies-and now researchers believe that infant formula is a major trigger.
In laboratory tests, researchers at the University of California, San Diego tested nine different infant formulas, and discovered that they all caused cells to die within five minutes. In some cases, 99 per cent of the cells exposed to formula died, compared to just 6 per cent of those exposed to human breast milk.
The researchers say their findings are also important for full-term babies who are suffering from gastrointestinal problems, and from autism spectrum disorders associated with gut problems.
Neonatal intensive care units that are still using infant formula should stop the practice immediately, and instead use breast milk, they say.
(Source: Pediatric Research, 2012; doi: 10.1038/pr.2012.125).


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