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    Palm oil/olein (PO/POL) is used in infant formulas to imitate the fatty acid profile of human milk (HM) and achieve similar levels of palmitic acid (PA). However, the positions of fatty acids on the triacylglyceride differ between PO/POL and HM, which affect fat absorption and produce unintended physiological consequences. Recent papers have reviewed evidence for physiological benefits of PO/POL and beta-palmitate (sn-2-palmitate) in infant formulas. The aim of the present review is to supplement the assessment of available clinical evidence on the physiological effects of PO/POL formulas in healthy infants. We intend to focus on PO/POL and not on sn-2-palmitate, since the latter was recently extensively reviewed. Clinical evidence supports that PO/POL in infant formulas leads to a lower fat, DHA, palmitate and calcium absorption, and bone mineralization; soft stools; and growth (weight accretion) compared to formulas without PO/POL. Consequently, it seems prudent to be considerate and cautious when adding PO/POL to infant formulas. While HM is the gold standard for infant nutrition, the development of infant formula should be based on achieving positive physiological outcomes, rather than just replicating HM nutrient composition.


    Maria Padial-Jaudenes, Esther Castanys-Munoz, Maria Ramirez, John Lasekan. Physiological Impact of Palm Olein or Palm Oil in Infant Formulas: A Review of Clinical Evidence. Nutrients. 2020 Nov 28;12(12)

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    PMID: 33260586

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