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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999 Mar;28(3):282-90.

Epidemiology of altered intestinal permeability to lactulose and mannitol in Guatemalan infants.

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1
Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis 95616-8669, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Subclinical alterations of small intestinal function have been reported frequently in tropical countries. Studies of small intestinal permeability to lactulose and mannitol were therefore completed in Guatemalan infants from a low-income, periurban community to assess the prevalence of altered intestinal function and the factors associated with this condition.

METHODS:

Two hundred studies were successfully completed in 158 infants who had been free of diarrhea for at least 1 week before the day of study. Urinary concentrations of lactulose and mannitol during the 5-hour period after ingestion of 400 mg/kg body weight of lactulose and 100 mg/kg body weight of mannitol were measured by gas-liquid chromatography and compared by age group, feeding practices, anthropometric indexes, and serum iron and zinc concentrations.

RESULTS:

The overall prevalence of altered intestinal permeability (defined as a ratio of urinary recovery of lactulose to mannitol [L/M] > or =0.07) was 30%. The urinary L/M recovery ratio was positively associated with age; low weight for age; and, in infants less than 6 months of age, non-breast-feeding. Children with serum iron concentrations less than 7.16 microM/l (40 [microg/dl) had higher median L/M ratios (L/M = 0.068; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.054, 0.085) than those with iron levels higher than this cutoff (L/M = 0.052; CI = 0.046, 0.058; p = 0.038). The median urinary L/M recovery ratio in 10 currently asymptomatic infants who had diarrhea during the week before testing (0.087; CI = 0.49, 0.154) was higher than that in children who had been free from diarrhea for at least 1 week (0.052; CI = 0.048, 0.056; p = 0.01).

CONCLUSION:

Age, feeding practices, low weight-for-age, low serum iron concentration, and recent diarrhea were all associated with altered intestinal function in this group of Guatemalan infants.

PMID:
10067729
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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