Specialized infant formulas available at the retail level are intended for the small number of infants who cannot tolerate formulas based on intact cow's milk protein or soy protein. Most often, these infants have confirmed food allergies, carbohydrate intolerance or malabsorption syndromes. Occasionally, because of a high risk of allergy based on family history, an infant may receive a specialized formula.
Most specialized commercial formulas are iron-fortified. The choice of formula should be individualized and based on the pathology detected or suspected. There are a number of specialized infant formulas, including ones for the preterm infant and ones for the dietary management of very specific medical conditions, that are not available at the retail level. These products will not be discussed here.
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