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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Porcelli, Peter
item Schanler, Richard - Rich
item Greer, Frank
item Chan, Gary
item Gross, Steven
item Mehta, Nitin
item Spear, Michael
item Kerner, John
item Euler, Arthur

Submitted to: Nutrition and Metabolism
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/26/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Infants who are born at weights substantially below the norm for full-term babies have special nutritional needs, because it is optimal that they catch up to normal weight and growth rates as quickly as possible. Human milk is considered ideal for term infants because it is easily digestible, contains nutrients that are easily absorbed, and boosts the immune system. Human milk fortified with supplements has been advocated for very low birt weight, premature infants, in order to accelerate their growth and the mineralization of their bones. It appeared to us that a new powdered human milk fortifier might promote better growth than a currently available fortifier. Therefore, we set up a clinical test with two groups of premature infants of very low birth weight in order to evaluate the efficiency and safety of the new fortifier with regard to enhancing the growth and nutritional status of very low birth weight infants. Our results sshowed that the new human milk fortifier was as safe as the reference fortifier. Moreover, it promoted faster weight gain and head circumference growth. These study findings provide important new information that can be used by doctors to improve the growth and nutrition of very low birth weight, premature infants.

Technical Abstract: Background/Aims: Human milk fortification has been advocated to enhance premature infants' growth. We, therefore, undertook this study of a new human milk fortifier containing more protein than a reference one. Methods: Open, randomized, controlled, multiclinic trial, with weekly growth parameters and safety evaluations in premature infants <1,500 g. Results: The 2 groups did not differ in demographic and baseline characteristics. The adjusted daily milk intake was significantly higher in the infants fed reference human milk fortifier (n=29; 154.2 +/- 2.1 vs. 144.4 +/- 2.5 ml/kg/day, mean +/- SE; p<0.05). Both human milk fortifiers produced increases over baseline in weight, length, and head circumference, with greater gains observed in the new human milk fortifier-fed infants for the former two parameters (weight gain 26.8 +/- 1.3 and 20.4 +/- 1.2 g/day, p<0.05; head circumference 1.0 +/- 0.1 and 0.8 +/- 0.1 cm/week; length 0.9 +/- 0.1 and 0.8 +/- 0.1 cm/week, respectively). Serum chemistries were normal and acceptable for age. Study events were typical for premature infants and similar in both groups. Conclusions: This new human milk fortifier had comparable safety to the reference human milk fortifier and promoted faster weight gain and head circumference growth.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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