The decision to breast-feed or bottle-feed is a personal, often debated topic. But for women in the UK, the decision might become a whole lot clearer after reading the results of a recent study about powder formula and ready-to-drink infant milk. The study, which was published in the journal BMC Pediatrics, looked at 30 types of formula sold in Britain. The researchers found that some contained as much as 100 times more aluminium than is found in breast milk.
But can aluminium really hurt a body? Well, previous studies have found that the metal was linked to "neurological diseases, bone defects and dementia in later life." It can also influence the way bones grow and develop. But the authors of the study also agree: "What we don’t know is whether aluminium is accumulating in the bodies of formula-fed babies. If it is, aluminium has no biological function at all, you have no requirement for it. The fact we don’t have experiments showing that it’s either safe or not safe in humans certainly doesn’t mean it’s not an issue."
The manufacturers tested in the study insist that they don't add any aluminium to their products, but often times, it can get in through the packaging, other ingredients or during the processing. While it should be noted that the UK's Food Standards Agency previously said it "does not have concerns about aluminium intake based on cow’s milk infant formula," the researchers are calling for better food labeling or closer monitoring on the levels claiming complacency on their parts.
What do you think about the findings? Would you still use the formula milks in the UK?