The FDA acknowledges a potential link between infant nutrition choices and atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one of the most common chronic skin diseases in children. Nearly 1 in 5 infants develops AD by 6 months of age, and prevalence has increased 2- to 3-fold over the past 30 years.
Based on the evidence that 100% whey protein partially hydrolyzed infant formula (100% PHF-W) may reduce the risk of AD in some infants, Nestlé petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow a Qualified Health Claim (QHC).
On May 24, 2011, the FDA concluded that the current scientific evidence was sufficient to consider a QHC. The claim is worded as follows:
“For healthy infants who are not exclusively breastfed and who have a family history of allergy, feeding a 100% whey-protein partially hydrolyzed infant formula from birth up to 4 months of age instead of a formula containing intact cow’s milk proteins may reduce the risk of developing atopic dermatitis throughout the first year of life. The FDA has concluded that the relationship between 100% whey-protein partially hydrolyzed infant formulas and the reduced risk of atopic dermatitis is uncertain, because there is little scientific evidence for the relationship.
Partially hydrolyzed formulas should not be fed to infants who are allergic to milk or to infants with existing milk allergy symptoms. If you suspect your baby is already allergic to milk, or if your baby is on a special formula for the treatment of allergy, your baby’s care and feeding choices should be under a doctor’s supervision.”
Frequently asked questions about the Qualified Health Claim
More about allergy and the Qualified Health Claim