Partial Hydrolyzed Protein as a Protein Source for Infant Feeding: Do or Don’t?

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Exclusive breastfeeding until the age of six months is the recommended feeding method for all infants. However, this is not possible for every infant. Therefore, a second choice of feeding, as close as possible to the gold standard, is needed. For historical reasons, this has been cow’s-milk-based feeding. This paper discusses if this second-choice feeding method should contain intact protein or partially hydrolyzed proteins. The limited data available indicates that mother’s milk is relatively rich in bioactive peptides. Whether partially hydrolyzed protein might be a protein source closer to human milk protein content than intact cow’s milk needs further research. However, more research on protein and bioactive peptides in mother’s milk should be a priority for future scientific development in this field. Results of such research will also provide an answer to the question of which option would be the best second choice for infant feeding if sufficient breast milk is not available.