Project 3: Formula – Understanding Nutrition (FUN) – An Infant Formula Study
The carbohydrate in breast milk is lactose. Many formulas provide carbohydrate as a glucose/sucrose combination which has a much higher glycemic index placing strain on the developing pancreas. Sucrose metabolizes into 50% fructose, a load which is linked with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adults and children. However, the impact of providing glucose/sucrose as the sole carbohydrate to infant is not known due to a gaping lack in research.
We are studying exclusively formula-fed infants who have habitually consumed either lactose-based, or glucose/sucrose-based standard infant formula. We will measure their glycemic response to a standardized glucose challenge and markers of liver health and function as a means of investigating potential programming effects. Additionally, we will conduct metabolomic analyses on fasting urine samples, and bank samples for future analysis of microbiome composition, inflammation and oxidative stress.
We will compare these results between formula-groups and to a control group of exclusively breastfed infants who are being analogously studied under a different funding mechanism.
It is critical that we understand the impact of altering carbohydrate source during a crucial window of development in this group known to be at elevated risk for obesity and insulin resistance.