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Pediatr Res. 2017 Jul;82(1):72-78. doi: 10.1038/pr.2017.79. Epub 2017 May 24.

The relationship of human milk leptin and macronutrients with gastric emptying in term breastfed infants.

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School of Molecular Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.
Department of Biochemistry (DIMC) and DOW Research Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences, DOW University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.


BackgroundInfants breastfed on demand exhibit a variety of feeding patterns and self-regulate their nutrient intake, but factors influencing their gastric emptying (GE) are poorly understood. Despite research into appetite regulation properties of leptin, there is limited information about relationships between human milk leptin and infant GE.MethodsGastric volumes were calculated from ultrasound scans of infants' stomachs (n=20) taken before and after breastfeeding, and then every 12.5 min (median; range: 3-45 min) until the next feed. Skim milk leptin and macronutrient concentrations were measured and doses were calculated.ResultsThe leptin concentration was (mean±SD) 0.51±0.16 ng/ml; the leptin dose was 45.5±20.5 ng per feed. No relationships between both concentration and dose of leptin and time between the feeds (P=0.57; P=1, respectively) or residual stomach volumes before the subsequent feed (P=0.20; P=0.050) were found. Post-feed stomach volumes (GE rate) were not associated with leptin concentration (P=0.77) or dose (P=0.85).ConclusionGE in term breastfed infants was not associated with either skim milk leptin concentration or dose. Further investigation with inclusion of whole-milk leptin and other hormones that affect gastrointestinal activity is warranted.

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