Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human milk fat improves growth in premature infants

Date:
August 15, 2014
Source:
Baylor College of Medicine
Summary:
For premature infants, adequate growth while in the neonatal intensive care unit is an indicator of better long-term health and developmental outcomes. Researchers have now successfully incorporated a cream supplement into premature infants' diets that improved their growth outcomes in the NICU.

For premature infants, adequate growth while in the neonatal intensive care unit is an indicator of better long-term health and developmental outcomes. Researchers at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have now successfully incorporated a cream supplement into premature infants' diets that improved their growth outcomes in the NICU. The report appears in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Related Articles


"For premature babies who weigh less than 1,000 grams (about 2 pounds, 2 ounces), one of the problems is that their lungs and other organs are still developing when they are born. If the infant gains weight and increases in length at a good rate while in the NICU, this helps improve their outcomes," said Dr. Amy Hair, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor, neonatologist at Texas Children's Hospital and first author of the study.

Previous research has shown that an exclusive human milk diet protects the intestines of premature infants and supports their growth. This diet consists of mothers' own breast milk or donor human milk, as well as a fortifier consisting of protein and minerals made from the donor milk.

In this study, researchers sought a way to optimize this growth in very small infants (those who weigh between 750 and 1,250 grams) who need additional calories. Because infants are already receiving enough protein from the fortifier, another way to help them grow is by giving them fat. One of the byproducts of pasteurizing donor milk is milk fat, also referred to as a cream supplement.

In this study, researchers compared the growth outcomes of infants who received the exclusive human milk diet and the cream supplement to infants who received just the exclusive human milk diet. They found that infants in the cream group had better growth outcomes in terms of weight and length than infants in the control group.

"This is a natural way to give them fat. Previously, we would add oils or infant formula to help premature babies grow, but we can now use a natural source from donor milk," said Hair.

Hair noted that because the growth was both in weight and length, this growth is likely lean mass, consisting of bone and muscle growth.

"You want to see babies growing in both weight and length," said Hair.

She also noted that the volume of milk given to these infants cannot change to help them grow because their stomach and intestine can only tolerate a certain amount of feedings.

"You cannot give them more volumes of milk. Especially if they have lung problems, they have to have a certain volume of milk. This is a way to add calories but not change the volume of milk," she said.

Since November 2013, the NICU at Texas Children's Hospital has changed its protocol to add this cream supplement to the diet of infants who weigh less than 1,500 grams.

"This also emphasizes the importance of donating excess breast milk that your baby doesn't need to a milk bank. It can help nourish our tiniest and most vulnerable infants," said Hair.

Texas Children's was the first hospital in the world to add human milk-based cream to the diets of very low birth weight infants.

In addition to adding cream to the diets of premature infants, since 2009, Texas Children's has significantly reduced its rates of necrotizing enterocolitis, one of the most devastating and potentially fatal diseases a neonate can face, by implementing a human milk feeding protocol for all infants weighing less than 3.3 pounds.

"Texas Children's strives to be a leader in human milk feeding, because we know it impacts outcomes," said Hair.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor College of Medicine. The original article was written by Dipali Pathak. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Baylor College of Medicine. "Human milk fat improves growth in premature infants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140815102225.htm>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2014, August 15). Human milk fat improves growth in premature infants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140815102225.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. "Human milk fat improves growth in premature infants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140815102225.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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