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Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Nov;70(5):920-7.

Double-blind, randomized trial of a synthetic triacylglycerol in formula-fed term infants: effects on stool biochemistry, stool characteristics, and bone mineralization.

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1
MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Child Health, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The low sn-2 palmitate content of infant formulas results in formation of fatty acid calcium soaps in the stools and reduced calcium absorption.

OBJECTIVE:

Our objective was to test the hypotheses that increasing the proportion of sn-2 palmitate in formula for term infants would result in greater skeletal mineral deposition and reduced stool hardness.

DESIGN:

Healthy term neonates were randomly assigned to receive standard formula (n = 103) or formula containing 50% sn-2 palmitate (high-sn-2 formula; n = 100) for 12 wk. One hundred twenty breast-fed infants were also studied. The main outcome measures were 1) radial (single-photon absorptiometry) and whole-body (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) bone mineral content (WBBMC) at 12 wk and 2) stool frequency, volume, and consistency at 6 and 12 wk. Secondary outcome measures included stool fatty acid content.

RESULTS:

Infants receiving high-sn-2 formula had higher WBBMC (128.1 +/- 9.7 compared with 122.7 +/- 10.1 g, adjusted for size and sex), softer stools at 6 and 12 wk, and a lower proportion of stool soap fatty acids than did infants receiving the control formula. Breast-fed infants had adjusted WBBMC values (128.3 +/- 9.1 g) similar to those of infants fed high-sn-2 formula and significantly higher than those of infants fed the control formula.

CONCLUSIONS:

Changing the stereoisomeric structure of palmitate in infant formula resulted in higher WBBMC, reduced stool soap fatty acids, and softer stools more like those of breast-fed infants. The greater bone mass measured could be important if it persists beyond the trial period; this merits further investigation.

PMID:
10539755
DOI:
10.1093/ajcn/70.5.920
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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