Lifestyle

Dangers of Aluminum in Infant Formulas – And a Safe Alternative

Many parents are not aware of the dangers of aluminum in infant formula. If you are a parent, you will be glad to know that there are alternatives available. However, it’s important to be educated and aware of the manufacturers’ safety policies. You can research the cleaning and analytic methods of the ingredients of baby formula before purchasing it. Aluminum is a very toxic metal and can have harmful effects on a growing child.

Prescription infant formulas

A recent study from Keeled University reveals the dangers of aluminum in infant formulas, highlighting the need to reduce the amount in baby foods. including a soy-based formula for infants with intolerance to cow’s milk.

While aluminium levels in infant formulas vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, the average ingestion of aluminium is between 206 and 592 micrograms per day. The highest concentration of aluminium in infant formulas is found in pre-term formula for preterm babies. Combined with the risk of allergies, aluminium consumption from these formulas can lead to a lifetime of 600 micrograms of aluminium. Powdered milk products with the highest amounts of aluminium include Hip Organic products and SMA soy-based formulas.

The researchers analyzed the policy of the Indonesian NADFC regarding soy-based infant formulas. They compared this decree to the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code to determine whether these products were safe for babies. The policy of the Indonesian NADFC does not mandate the use of SPI in SIF, so other sources may cause gastrointestinal distress in newborns. Furthermore, the Indonesian policy does not regulate the amount of aluminium in SIF. There are also no regulations on the amount of zinc to copper ratio or peso cede residue.

Prescription infant formulas are a safe alternative to aluminum

Many off-the-shelf infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium. The metal is often imported through packaging and ingredients. By contrast, specialized formulas are specifically formulated to address health and medical issues in infants. And unlike off-the-shelf formulas, prescription infant formulas are thoroughly tested for aluminum levels. These formulas are also typically combined with medication.

The FDA accepts reports of problems with commercial infant formulas, even when you don’t know if the product is to blame. In fact, the FDA shut down a formula manufacturing facility in 2022 because of these issues. In contrast, in Europe, food standards are one of the strictest in the world. Manufacturers must follow their strictest regulations and update them every few years, to reflect modern science and ingredients. Prescription infant formulas can be more expensive than commercially available formulas.

While the safety of prescription formulas with aluminum is still uncertain, some manufacturers are adding essential fatty acids (DHA and ARA) to their products. These oils are naturally present in human breast milk. They make up major long-chain fats in the infant’s nerve tissue and brain. Although these oils are proven beneficial, there have been some studies that show no benefit in adding them to commercial formulas.

Analytical methods

The French TDS (Total Daily Substances) covered the period from 1 month to 14 years. According to Siros et al. (2018), aluminium intake from food increases steadily during the first six months of life. The average exposure to aluminium from food is about one milligram per kilogram of body weight per week, and this figure is significantly higher than that of breastfed children. The French TDS also covers non-breastfed children who are fed some types of adapted diets. Nevertheless, children in high-intake groups may exceed the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) from food.

Depending on the source of exposure to aluminium, the exposure may be low during breast-feeding. However, the exposure may rise after weaning, due to the increase in aluminium in the diet and possible additional contributions from FCM. The maximum amount of aluminium for highly exposed infants is 1.4 mg/week when not considering vaccination. However, the EFSA-derived TWI may be exceeded in this population.

Quality assurance data

The current issue with aluminium in infant formulas is that most of these products contain high levels of this element. Despite the widespread use of aluminium-based packaging, infant formula manufacturers deny the presence of aluminium. Most likely, aluminium is found in the ingredients they supply to manufacturers, such as whey protein hydro lysates, which contain 4.1 to 8.1 mg of aluminium per gram. This aluminium is likely to contribute significantly to the final product.

Conclusion

The highest levels of aluminium were found in powdered milks made from soya, which is a known source of aluminium contamination in infant formulas. Three powdered milk brands use linings made from aluminium-based composites. Similarly, Hip Organic uses aluminium-based pouches and cardboard containers for its formula. Nevertheless, it is difficult to know for sure if aluminium is added to these products.

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