Advantages of prethickened formulas (AR) with regards to esophageal pH and gastric emptying were investigated in this study as compared with a regular formula (R).
Seventy-four healthy infants, <6 months old, with gastroesophageal reflux were enrolled into the study. All infants underwent 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring while receiving R and AR, alternately. Electrogastrography was measured before and after feeding each study formula. Thereafter, the infants were randomly assigned to receive either R or AR for 1 month. Episodes of regurgitation, vomiting, coughing, crying, and bowel movements were recorded on a weekly interval.
Reflux index (RI) of AR-fed infants were lower (5.64%) than the R-fed infants (7.77%) showing a significant difference (P<0.01) between the 2 groups, favoring AR. Eighty-seven percent of infants improved their RI while receiving the AR formula. Electrogastrography variables were not significantly different between the 2 study groups. A significant decrease (P<0.01) in the daily episodes of regurgitation and vomiting was observed in the AR-fed infants. No adverse events were reported during the study.
Prethickened infant formula was effective in reducing clinical symptoms of uncomplicated gastroesophageal reflux and reducing RI. Prethickened formulas do not alter gastric emptying time and was very well tolerated.