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ACAAI > Patients & Public > Resources > Ask the Allergist

Infant Formulas and Corn Allergy

Q:  My three-month-old son has tried seven different formulas in addition to me breastfeeding him, and still has severe vomiting and eczema. He has just seen an allergist, who recommends I stop breastfeeding him and switch him to Neocate or EleCare formula while she completes her workup. However, I am myself allergic to corn and am concerned because these products have corn components. My question is, if my son turns out to be allergic to corn, can he use those formulas safely?

A:  The corn component in the hypoallergenic formulae is corn syrup, derived from corn starch which has been processed to remove any impurities.  Thus, this corn starch does not have any corn protein in it.  As far as we know, the allergy to foods is caused by a response to the protein part of the food.  Reassuringly, experts in the area of food allergy who helped to answer this question have not had patients react to these formulae.  Also, it is not established that children inherit the exact same allergy as their parents.  For all the above reasons, the child is not expected to have an allergic reaction to the hypoallergenic formula.  It is advisable that the introduction of this formula be done at the allergist office, on an oral food challenge protocol, so any side effects suspected to be due to the formula can be carefully evaluated.

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