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Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr;95(4):875-81. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.024919. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Infant regulation of intake: the effect of free glutamate content in infant formulas.

Author information

1
Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We recently discovered that infants randomly assigned to a formula high in free amino acids (extensive protein hydrolysate formula; ePHF) during infancy consumed less formula to satiation and gained less weight than did infants fed an isocaloric formula low in free amino acids (cow milk formula; CMF).

OBJECTIVE:

Because ePHF and CMF differ markedly in concentrations of free glutamate, we tested the hypothesis that the higher glutamate concentrations in ePHF promote satiation and satiety.

DESIGN:

In this counterbalanced, within-subject study, infants <4 mo of age (n = 30) visited our laboratory for 3 sets of 2 consecutive infant-led formula meals over 3 test days. Infants were fed 1 of 3 isocaloric formulas during each first meal: CMF, ePHF, or CMF with added free glutamate to approximate concentrations in ePHF (CMF+glu). When infants signaled hunger again, they were fed a second meal of CMF. From these data, we calculated satiety ratios for each of the 3 formulas by dividing the intermeal interval by the amount of formula consumed during that particular first meal.

RESULTS:

Infants consumed significantly less CMF+glu (P < 0.02) and ePHF (P < 0.04) than CMF during the first meals. They also showed greater levels of satiety after consuming CMF+glu or ePHF: satiety ratios for CMF+glu (P < 0.03) and ePHF (P < 0.05) were significantly higher than for CMF.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest a role of free glutamate in infant intake regulation and call into question the claim that formula feeding impairs infants' abilities to self regulate energy intake.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00957892.

PMID:
22357724
PMCID:
PMC3302362
DOI:
10.3945/ajcn.111.024919
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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