Parents and physicians in the United States have been warned by the Food and Drug Administration not to use popular thickening agent, SimplyThick, especially for premature babies after it was found to fatally affect the intestines of the infants.
SimplyThick is a popular thickening food additive since it helps the infants to swallow the food easily. However recent reports have found that the additive is responsible for necrotizing enterocolitis in at least 15 infants, leading to the deaths of two babies.
Necrotizing enterocolitis is a life-threatening condition in premature infants that is characterized by inflammation and the death of intestinal tissue. While the condition is usually seen in babies when they are still hospitalized, majority of the reports received by the FDA were among babies who were discharged.
The FDA has now said that the thickening agent should not be given to premature infants for at least 30 days after their discharge from the hospital.