New & Improved Formula Might Be Just as Good as Breastmilk

This Just In 48

BottleLadies, may I have your attention please? I know what you're thinking. Another formula article? But wait! Don't despair!

We have another entry in the baby feeding wars, and this one may be a game changer. Scientists studying formula think they have found a simple fix to bring bottle-fed babies more in line with their breastfed peers.

Are you ready for this? They think they can add more of the amino acids lactating mamas make for their babies to the cow's milk stuff other moms choose to give their wee ones. See? Moms all on the same page, they're trying to feed babies the same thing. Winning!

But wait, there's more! If we take this study and put it into practice, we might just be able to kill the "fat" formula-fed baby debate for good. Phewww!

In an admittedly small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (there were just 30 families), scientists say they've been able to prove that formula that has extra glutamate keeps babies from "over-eating" from their bottles. Commonly found in abundance in breastmilk, there isn't as much of this building block of protein in cow's milk. But it seems this stuff could be what tells babies they're full and make them stop eating.


Science has gone back and forth on formula and weight issues so much it was hard for us breastfeeding failures (raises hand), women who couldn't breastfeed, and women who just plain chose to go the formula route not to feel like we sucked (no pun intended). No mom wants to start their kid off on the path to childhood obesity from the get-go! But the researchers were spending so much time changing their minds that we had no definitive answers.

Now we have something fairly definitive that we can point to and say, yeah, there is a way to make this whole thing work!

It's definitely worth noting that this particular study was funded by a group that makes amino acids. But don't write it off right away. Researchers have been talking about the benefits of glutamate in breastmilk for years. It turns out the glutumate in breastmilk has been linked to receptors in the tongue and plays an important role in glucose production.

And since I'm all about trying to bring moms together, I need to point out again: this is good for the breastfeeding group too! Scientists are acknowledging the golden elixir coming out of your mammary glands really does rock. It's so awesome, in fact, that they are turning to what you make to improve the stuff other moms use.

So let's hear it for moms feeling good about themselves and (more importantly really in the scheme of things) good about what they're putting into baby's tummy, huh?

Does your baby ever overeat? How have you dealt with it?


Image via mll/Flickr

baby health, breastfeeding, formula


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Destiny Hall Lewis

Thank you Jeanne for writing an article to support all of moms who feed their children... I BF all 3 of my daughters, all be it my oldest was a nightmare due her being born at 30 weeks, and with the stress of everything that happened during the 4 months we were in the hospital, often my body would reabsorb the MAYBE 2 to 4 ML they produced. Pumping every 90 minutes was awful, not having a decent supply was depressing, infections and tears made me want to perform my own mastectomy, no sleep, and CRAZY ASS BF's like we find here made the process for me that much more trying. The whole experience made me want to hang up the boobies and never whip them out again for a baby. I didn't formula feed, but it was an awful and horrendous experience first time out of the nursing bra. I was a former BF nazi, and my tune changed darn quick when I had my own baby and issues to deal with. We all know natural anything is BEST, but those Nazi's that like to parade their sanctimommy selves around need to STFU! In case you missed it LYNETTE!

ethan... ethans_momma06

Every improvement in formula is something to be excited and enthusiatic about. It's a good thing to know that effort is being made to give every baby a better shot at life.

The problem is that the title of this article is exactly the sort of thing that creates misinformation about the benefits of breastfeeding vs. the benefits of formula. The very sort of information that leads a mother to believe that using formula is 'just as good' as breastfeeding.

Even with this improvment, it's not. Shame on you cafemom for using such a title to garner ratings. A site that is supposedly in support of women, and moms... it's a shame. To empower women, don't mislead them. There was no reason whatsoever to title this piece 'Might be just as good as breastmilk' since that's not what the study says at all. *shakes head*

tabi_... tabi_cat1023

Improving infant formula? AWESOME

It being as good as breastmilk? NOT POSSIBLE

Formula contains bacteria, tons of artificial ingredients, cows milk, DHA and ARA are fungus and algae, not to mention lacks human growth hormone and antibodies. NO WAY will it ever be as good as the real stuff...a better substitute than the OLDER formulas yes...does formula get better and better YES, will it ever be as good as breastmilk NOPE not gonna happen.

Formula has saved the lives of millions of babies, but it has also COST the life of millions of babies too....many moms turn to formula and then cannot afford to fed their child properly and the child suffers for that. I am glad formula is available for those children who actually need it and it should be made better after all with time everything SHOULD improve

annaica annaica

Formula/bottle feeding benefits will never be equivalent to breastfeeding benefits. It really is as simple as that.

nonmember avatar Darlene

That is wonderful news for bottle-feeding mom's that want their formula to be as close to breast milk as possible.
That said, I'm tired of bottle-feeding mom's feeling like they need to explain themselves for their method of feeding their children. Just stop! You don't need to tell me or anyone else your medical history. It's none of our business. Don't allow these righteous women to make you feel less of one..EVER.
I didn't breastfeed any of my 7 children.
I don't feel wrong about it in any-way-shape-or-form, either. Most of them are adults now. They were/are healthy individuals with no abnormalities. No learning disabilities, immune problems...etc.

Delamara Delamara

I can't wait to get pregnant so people can ask me..."oh so how are you going to feed your kid?" And I can say..."F-- off because no matter what I choose, you'll have something to say about it and it's not your baby, it's mine." I can't believe how women are so rude to others based on how they feed their kids. You have no idea if someone can breast fed or not. You jump to conclusions that the baby won't be as strong or healthy or anything else. My mom couldn't breastfed and I had formula and I turned out just fine. 

Logan... LoganTroyMom

Ethan'smomma, I applaud you for wording that so perfectly!

If you want my opinion, just read her post again! ^

louza... louzannalady

So... He or she may not overeat the formula? They still have over 27 times the chance of dying of SIDS in the first six months, compared to a baby who is nursed EVEN ONCE! They have heightened risks for cancer, diabetes, ear infections, food allergies..... The list goes on and on and decades of studies (with more than 30 families) to back it up! 

nonmember avatar Em

Breastfeeding my first 2 children was very important to me, and very successful. BUT...I never take for granted that I will be able to do it again with another baby. Because circumstances with every baby can be very very different. There are a lot of factors that may make you unable to breastfeed the second, third, hell even tenth time around.
Given that we can't predict the future, yes, it is important that the quality of formula be improved as much as possible. We should ALL appreciate that, regardless of our feelings on the subject.

nonmember avatar Shannon

I am all for improving formula. There will always be a need for it, such as adoption, an accident or illness that prevents mom from nursing, women who have insufficient glandular tissue/low milk supply, mastectomy patients, etc. What's annoying is the formula companies' marketing. They don't care about improving for the sake of babies, they care about making money. Most people, not just parents, overlook that and that's why breastfeeding is still having difficulty being accepted as the norm and bottle-feeding as the alternative.

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