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Contact: Catherine Hockmuth
University of California - San Diego

Infant Formula Digestion

Caption: This chart shows the high concentration of unbound (cytotoxic) free fatty acids (FFAs) (shown in white) created by the digestion of infant formula compared to the relatively small presence of free fatty acids formed through the digestion of breast milk. Bioengineers at UC San Diego reported in the journal Pediatric Research that these free fatty acids are toxic to cells and may contribute to necrotizing enterocolitis, an often fatal condition that most commonly occurs in premature infants.

Credit: Alexander Penn, Department of Bioengineering, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Usage Restrictions: With credit

Related news release: In vitro study finds digested formula, but not breast milk, is toxic to cells

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