A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that infant formula and baby bottles do not help to protect infants against bacterial infections, as some critics had feared.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina, involved over 1,000 children ages 1 to 5.
The researchers used stool samples collected from children in four communities across the U.S. and were able to measure levels of several antimicrobial compounds in the samples.
Researchers from the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing analyzed the stool samples for the antibacterial compounds.
They found that those with antibacterial properties were more likely to be found in the infant formula samples and the baby bottles.
“We are concerned that the results of this study, as well as other studies, have not provided sufficient evidence to suggest that antibacterial products are helpful for the health of infants and young children,” Dr. John D’Aleo, a pediatrician and co-author of the study, said in a statement.
D’Aleos co-authored the study with Michael R. Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics at the College of William & Mary, who also led the team of researchers.
Researchers say that the antibacterials in infant formula may be less effective than some people have assumed, and that more research is needed to determine whether or not they actually protect infants from bacterial infections.
Researchers hope that the study can help parents, health care providers, and the general public better understand the safety of infant formula, as it’s commonly sold in grocery stores and other stores.