Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Formula-fed preemies at higher risk for dangerous GI condition than babies who get donor milk

Date:
May 1, 2011
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Extremely premature babies fed human donor milk are less likely to develop the dangerous intestinal condition necrotizing enterocolitis than babies fed a standard premature infant formula derived from cow's milk, according to new research.

Extremely premature babies fed human donor milk are less likely to develop the dangerous intestinal condition necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) than babies fed a standard premature infant formula derived from cow's milk, according to research by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and elsewhere.

Only one of the 29 infants who received human milk developed NEC and it recovered without surgery, compared with five out of the 24 babies on formula, four of whom required surgery. The findings, the researchers said, justify a move toward a "human milk only" diet in extremely premature babies -- those born weighing less than 1,500 grams, or 3.3 pounds.

"The stark differences in the risk of NEC, its complications and the need for surgery between babies who receive human donor milk and those who get formula signal the need for a change in feeding practices across neonatal intensive care units," said lead investigator Elizabeth Cristofalo, M.D., a neonatologist at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Moreover, babies who got human milk tolerated feeding better, allowing them to be taken off supplemental IV nutrition much sooner -- after 27 days on average -- than the group who received cow's milk formula. Those babies spent an average of 36 days on IV nutrition, largely because their intestinal tracts were not adapting to food as well, the researchers say. IV nutrition, used temporarily in all premature babies to supplement feeding, carries risks, the most serious of which is liver damage.

"Although we didn't look specifically at liver function, we know from experience and from previous research that prolonged IV nutrition can harm a premature baby's liver," Cristofalo said. "Using human milk cuts that risk by allowing us to wean babies off IV nutrition sooner."

The health advantages of mother's milk have been well-established, but some concerns about donor milk have lingered, including how it compares to mother's milk and whether it is, indeed, superior to cow milk formula. The new findings should resolve any residual doubts about the risks and clarify the benefits of human donor milk, the investigators said.

The multi-center study is the first trial of its kind to compare the risk for NEC and NEC surgery between premature infants fed human donor milk and those fed preterm baby formula. An earlier study by the same team showed that babies who get their own mother's milk fortified with the standard cow milk protein are more prone to NEC than babies given a combination of their mothers' milk fortified with human donor milk.

Necrotizing enterocolitis is marked by tissue damage to the baby's bowel. Because up to 40 percent of babies who develop NEC die, the condition is considered an emergency. Some cases of NEC can be treated with antibiotics and by temporarily withholding of food, but some babies require surgery to remove the dead portions of the intestines. The remaining intestine, however, can develop scarring that leads to poor absorption of nutrients, growth problems and the need for more surgery down the road.

Other hospitals participating in the study included Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, the University of Texas, the University of Florida-Gainesville, Innsbruck Medical University in Austria, Baylor College of Medicine and Children's Hospital and Research Center, Oakland, Calif.

The research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.The study also received funding from Prolacta Bioscience, a manufacturer of human milk nutrition for premature babies. Study co-authors David Rechtman and Martin Lee are employed by Prolacta Bioscience.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Formula-fed preemies at higher risk for dangerous GI condition than babies who get donor milk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110430171122.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2011, May 1). Formula-fed preemies at higher risk for dangerous GI condition than babies who get donor milk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110430171122.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Formula-fed preemies at higher risk for dangerous GI condition than babies who get donor milk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110430171122.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins