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Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Jul;54(1):130-5.

Milk-induced malabsorption in malnourished African patients.

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Nutrition Unit, Groote Schuur Hospital, South Africa.


Fifty malnourished rural African patients were randomly assigned to whole milk (50 g lactose/L), acidified milk (24 g lactose/L), or a commercial lactose-free diet (LFD) as a constant nasogastric infusion for 3 d, starting at 2 L/d and increasing to 3 L/d if tolerated. During the first 2 d mild symptoms of intolerance developed in 63% of patients on whole milk, 37% on acidified milk, and 54% on LFD whereas severe intolerance, necessitating withdrawal, was encountered in 22% receiving whole milk and none receiving LFD. Stool weights and fat excretion on day 3 were greater (P less than 0.02) in the remaining milk-fed patients whereas nitrogen balance remained strongly positive in all three groups. Eighty-seven percent of patients were methane producers, and high excretion rates were associated with better milk tolerance. The results suggest that although undiluted cow milk will not form a suitable tube feed for malnourished African patients, products such as acidified milk may prove cost effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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