Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #262574

Title: Similar calcium status is present in infants fed formula with and without prebiotics

item HICKS, PENNI - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item HAWTHORNE, KELI - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item MARUNYCZ, JOHN - Mead Johnson
item BERSETH, CAROL - Mead Johnson
item HEUBI, JAMES - Cincinnati Children'S Research Hospital
item ABRAMS, STEVEN - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Pediatric Academic Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/28/2010
Publication Date: 5/1/2010
Citation: Hicks, P.D., Hawthorne, K.M., Marunycz, J., Berseth, C., Heubi, J., Abrams, S.A. 2010. Similar calcium status is present in infants fed formula with and without prebiotics [abstract]. Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Academic Society, May 1 - 4, 2010, Vancouver, BC Canada. E-PAS2010:1665.7.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Prebiotic oligosaccharides can increase calcium absorption in adolescents and adults. Whether they affect calcium absorption in infants has not been assessed. Few data are available to compare the calcium status of infants fed modern infant formulas to that of breast fed infants. To evaluate calcium absorption in infants fed formula with or without prebiotics compared to human milk-fed (HM) infants. A multi center randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess calcium absorption in healthy term infants fed a control formula (Enfamil LIPIL®, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Evansville IN) (CF) or a study formula with prebiotics (Control plus galactooligosaccharide and polydextrose 1:1, 4 g/L) (PF). After 13-15 days of formula consumption, infants were admitted for an overnight stay during which a dual-tracer stable isotope method was used to evaluate calcium absorption. Biochemical measures of bone health (serum calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase activity) were assessed. A HM group was evaluated similarly and used as a reference group. Calcium absorption was similar in CF and PF, but differed from HM (Mean +/- SEM). Thirty subjects were studied in the CF group, 25 subjects in the PF group, and 19 subjects in the HM group. Subject weight at time of study was 5811 +/- 140g for CF, 5829 +/- 157g for PF and 5809 +/- 176g for H M, p = 0.995. Fractional calcium absorption was 59.2 +/- 2.3% for CF, 56.8 +/- 2.6% for PF and 79.0 +/- 2.9% for HM, p < 0.001. Calcium absorption was 46.2 +/- 1.6 mg/100 kcal for CF, 44.3 +/- 1.9 mg/100 kcal for PF and 33.7 +/- 2.0 mg/100 kcal for HM, p < 0.001. Total 24 hour calcium absorption was 328 +/- 13 mg for CF, 300 +/- 14 mg for PF and 187 +/- 16 mg for HM, p < 0.001. Serum calcium was significantly higher among infants fed PF compared to CF (10.3 +/-0.1 vs 10.0 +/- 0.1 mg/dL, p=0.021); serum phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase activity were similar (6.9 +/- 0.1 vs 6.7 +/- 0.1 mg/dL and 329 +/- 18 vs 334 +/- 15 units/L, respectively). Calcium content of HM was lower than both CF and PF (44 vs 78 mg/100 kcal). Despite lower fractional calcium absorption of CF and PF compared to HM, higher calcium content in both led to higher 24 hr calcium absorption compared to that of HM infants. No effect of prebiotics on calcium absorption was seen; demonstrating that the addition of prebiotics supports calcium status in infants fed a prebiotic-supplemented formula similar to that of a marketed control formula.