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J Pediatr. 2002 Oct;141(4):532-7.

Enhanced weight gain in preterm infants receiving lactase-treated feeds: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.

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Department of Nutrition Services and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Royal University Hospital, and the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.



To evaluate whether lactase-treated preterm feeds enhance weight gain and feeding tolerance in premature infants.


Prospective, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial involving 130 infants (26-34 weeks postconceptual age). The primary outcome variable was weight gain (g per day). Other outcome measures included gains in length and head circumference, biochemical indexes of nutritional status, feeding intolerance, and incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis.


On study day 10, weight gain (mean +/- SEM) of the treatment group was significantly greater (P <.05) than that of the control group (20.4 +/- 1.8 g/day vs 15.5 +/- 1.6 g/day). By study end, no significant difference in weight gain between treatment and control groups was observed. The difference in serum albumin level was significant at study day 14, with a value of 29.3 +/- 0.6 g/L in the treatment group compared with 27.1 +/- 0.4 g/L in the control group (P <.01). There were no significant differences in caloric intakes, length gain, head circumference gain, feeding intolerance, and incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis.


Weight gain may be enhanced during the period of low functional lactase activity of prematurity by addition of lactase to preterm feeds. No adverse effects on feeding tolerance resulted from this treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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