Whether you have been drinking the same formula for years or if you are reading this in an effort to return to the PKU diet, understanding the ‘types’ of PKU formula available to you is important.
World-wide there are over 60 different PKU formulas! Knowing you have options to get back-on-track or make a change in the future will help you reach and maintain your PKU diet management goals.
Types of PKU Formula
SHAKES – Many formula options are in powdered form and get mixed with water to make a shake-like drink. Shake-like formulas typically provide a balance of fat, carbohydrate, phenylalanine-free* protein, vitamins and minerals. Shake-like formulas often contain a good number of calories, which may benefit active children and adults with higher caloric needs.
LESS-TO-DRINK – PKU is Diet-for-Life. As you grow and get older you will need more protein from formula. However, you may not need as many calories from formula since you will also consume more foods low in protein. Lower volume formulas typically have less calories and mix with only 3-5 fl oz of water, so you can drink less formula to meet your daily phenylalanine-free* protein needs. This may also be helpful to those unable to finish their shake-like formula due to being overfull.
READY-TO-DRINK – Life is busy and staying on diet is of utmost importance, which has made these pre-mixed, ready-to-drink formulas a very popular choice. These formulas come in both the shake-like (Periflex® LQ) and less-to-drink (Lophlex® LQ) options so everyone can find something to meet their needs. Just simply shake, open, drink and go.
FLEXIBILITY – Everyone is different and sometimes you need a formula option as unique as you. There are multiple ‘flexible’ options for PKU formula; such as tablets and mix-in powdered formulas. Tablets are an option for people who are unable to drink PKU formula or just want to drink less, but meet their full daily protein recommendation.
Mix-In formula powders are another flexible option that allows you to create your own PKU formula. You can add these powders to sports drinks, foods low in protein, or your current PKU formula to increase PHE-free protein content of your favorite shake-like formula.
GMP-BASED PKU FORMULA–Glycomacropeptide, or GMP for short, is a whey protein concentrate derived from milk during the cheese making process. It is naturally low in phenylalanine, and with the addition of certain amino acids, it makes a suitable source of protein for those with PKU. Your dietitian will help determine how to count for the PHE in these products. GMP-based PKU formulas are available in many forms.
Nutricia has a great tasting shake-like GMP-based PKU formula (PhenylAde® GMP Drink Mix) and a create-your-own option (PhenylAde® GMP Mix-In) that does not significantly change the taste, even then mixed with water!
As you can see, there are no shortages of PKU formula options. If you happen to be thinking about changing formulas or returning to diet let Nutricia help you find a PKU formula you will enjoy drinking.
Contact Nutricia Today DietforLife@Nutricia.com
NOTE: All PKU formulas must be used under medical supervision. Always consult your metabolic healthcare professional prior to making any changes in your PKU diet plan.
Posted by: Sandy Simons, MA, RD, CHES
Sandy is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Education Specialist. She received her graduate training at Columbia University’s Teacher College in New York. She has been working on the industry side of metabolic nutrition for the past 14 years and is often seen at patient events around the country.