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Pediatr Res. 1989 Apr;25(4):414-9.

Growth of very low birth weight infants on varying amounts of human milk protein.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Lund, Malmö General Hospital, Sweden.

Abstract

In a double-blind, randomized study, 28 healthy, growing very low birth wt, appropriate-for-gestational-age infants were fed human milk, preferably mother's own, fortified daily with human milk protein and/or human milk fat. The infants entered the study when they were stable on complete enteral intakes of 170 mL/kg/d (mean age = 19 d). The study lasted for a mean of 4 wk. Samples from all the milks were collected daily, and intakes of protein, fat, carbohydrates, energy, and electrolytes were calculated weekly during the whole study period. Protein intakes ranged from 1.7 to 3.9 g/kg/d, and energy intakes from 100 to 150 kcal/kg/d. Wt and length gain in the nonprotein-enriched groups were 15.6 +/- 2.7 g/kg/d (mean +/- SD) and 0.88 +/- 0.17 cm/wk; the corresponding figures for the protein-enriched groups were 20.2 +/- 2.1 g/kg/d and 1.24 +/- 0.14 cm/wk. There was a strong correlation between protein intake and growth in wt and length up to an intake of about 3 g/kg/d; more protein did not result in increased growth. The same was true for energy intake, with a maximal growth rate at an intake of about 120 kcal/kg/d. A protein intake of more than 3 g/kg/d resulted in a growth rate equal to or higher than the estimated intrauterine growth rate. Some infants fed mature banked human milk alone had a poor growth. Sodium intake was low, ranging from 1.5 to 2.6 mmol/kg/d. No correlation was found between sodium intake and growth rates.

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