Lactose-Free Compared with Lactose-Containing Formula in Dietary Management of Acute Childhood Diarrhea|
Saneian, Hossein; Yaghini, Omid; Modaresi, Mohammadreza & Razmkhah, Narges
Objective: Few reports are available on some benefits, such as shortened duration of diarrhea and better
weight gain, for lactose-free over lactose-containing formula in acute childhood diarrhea. We evaluated the
effects of lactose-free formula in dietary management of acute diarrhea in formula-fed children.
Methods: This controlled-clinical trial was conducted on formula-fed children, aged 1 to 24 months, referring
with acute non-bloody diarrhea (≤2 weeks). Those who had major systemic illness, severe malnutrition,
severe dehydration, severe vomiting, or history of antibiotic therapy were not included. Children were
allocated to receive lactose-free formula (intervention, n=37) or lactose-containing formula (control, n=34).
Time to diarrhea relief and weight change were compared between the two groups after one week.
Findings: During the study, 32 male and 39 female children (7.1±3.7 months) were included. Those who
received lactose-free formula had a significantly shorter time to diarrhea relief compared with the controls
(1.7±0.7 vs. 2.6±0.7 days, P<0.001). Weight significantly increased in both groups, but there was no difference
between the two groups in weight change (37±100 vs. 38±77 gr, P=0.673). Multivariate analysis showed that
receiving lactose-free formula significantly predicted time to diarrhea relief (95% CI: 1.5 to 3.9, P<0.001)
controlling for baseline characteristics.
Conclusion: Early administration of lactose-free formula for formula-fed children presenting with acute
diarrhea can result in a more rapid relief of acute diarrhea and thus perhaps less mortality and morbidity.
Trials with longer follow-ups are warranted to better evaluate long-term results such as weight change and
feeding problems in this regard.
Acute Diarrhea; Nutritional Management; Children; Lactose-Free Formula