The journey of a parent and child with food allergy can be quite incredible. We know that breastfeeding is ideally the best option for all children, however when breastfeeding is not possible, the question is – “What is the best formula for a child with multiple food allergies?”.
In recent times, there have been some great options available for the child with food allergies. Extensively Hydrolysed Formula (EHF) is usually highly effective for managing most babies with food allergy. In severe cases where babies don’t improve on an EHF, an amino acid based formula, such as Neocate Gold, is the next step.
There is however a game changer in the market now called Neocate Syneo. It has been cleverly designed to improve the gut environment (gut microbiome) of babies with allergies. We know that up to 80% of our immune system is in the gut, therefore improving a baby’s gut health will improve their immunity and overall health.
Healthy breastfed babies often have a good balance of bugs (microbes) in their gut giving them the best chance of developing a robust immune system. This is because breastmilk naturally contains both prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are fermented living organisms that specifically alter the function of our gut microbes to confer a benefit to our health. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that selectively stimulate the growth of specific bacteria.
When the right prebiotics and probiotics are put together, they create a “synbiotic”. When synbiotics enter the gut, the beneficial probiotics “munch” on the prebiotics, which results in restoration of a healthy balance of microbes.
We know that babies with food allergies often have an “imbalance” of bugs in their gut (known as dysbiosis). Dysbiosis is linked to symptoms such as crying, fussing and irritability.
Neocate Syneo is a great new option because it is well tolerated and provides babies with these important prebiotics and probiotics (known together as synbiotics) that were not previously in Neocate Gold. These synbiotics help to “re-balance” the gut environment in babies with food allergy. A healthier gut environment enables the immune system to function at full capacity, which results in a healthier, happier baby and parents.
Neocate Syneo has been studied with good results – babies with food allergies who drank the Neocate Syneo had an improvement in the balance of microbes in their gut compared to standard Neocate Gold. These babies generally needed less medication for tummy troubles and there was also a trend towards less ear infections and less antibiotic use.
It can often be alarming to a parent when they use an amino acid formula (such as Neocate Gold) that changes their baby’s poo – often making them green in colour. The new Neocate Syneo tends to improve both the consistency and colour of an infant’s stools – presenting a more yellow/brown colour (closer to the stools of breast fed infants).
This article has been written by Karina Savage, Paediatric Gut Health Dietitian from Smartbite Nutrition Consulting – www.smartbite.com.au