Infant formula is a food which is recommended for special dietary use solely as a food for infants by reason of its simulation of human milk or its suitability as a complete or partial substitute for human milk. Infant formula is a manufactured food designed and marketed for feeding to babies and infants less than 12 months of age, usually prepared for bottle-feeding from powder mixed with water or liquid with or without additional water. The composition of infant formula is designed to be roughly based on a human mother’s milk, although there are significant differences in the nutrient content of these products.
The infant’s gastrointestinal tract is home to more than 400 types of resident probiotics, also known as “friendly” or beneficial bowel bacteria, gut microorganisms, or intestinal flora. These friendly microorganisms protect the GI tract and keep them healthy by protecting them from unfriendly microorganisms such as bacteria, parasites, viruses, yeasts, and fungi that cause disease. Probiotics also improve immune system function, along with many other health benefits. Adding prebiotics to the ingredients to infant formula colonize the newborn’s gut with a stable population of beneficial bacteria. Depending on the manufacturer the most commonly used infant formulas contain a blend of vegetable oils as a fat source, lactose as a carbohydrate source, purified cow’s milk whey and casein as a protein source, a vitamin-mineral mix, and other ingredients. During birth, probiotics from the mother’s birth canal colonize the infant’s gut, and then probiotics are provided by mother’s milk or infant formula if prebiotics are added to it.
After infancy, resident probiotics are supplied to them by raw foods, lactic acid bacteria-fermented foods and probiotic supplements. Infants have a special need for stimulation of their gut micro biota because they are born with a sterile intestine. A comparison between vaginally and caesarean- delivered babies shows that babies delivered by c-section beckon highly improved immune response when prebiotics is added in their diets since their gut micro biota is quite different and they enter a sterile environment after birth. The infants receiving the probiotic formula have increased concentrations of secretory, anti-rotavirus, and anti-poliovirus-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA). Even the fecal samples from babies receiving the probiotic formula reveal significantly heightened immunity and a decrease in the types of bacteria that are often associated with illness especially among Caesarian-delivered infants. Loss of probiotics can contribute to eczema, nervous system disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and many other immune system disorders.