This study was conducted to compare the influence of diet on the physiologic changes in bile acid kinetics, intraluminal bile acid concentrations, conjugation patterns, and nutrient lipid absorption, which occur postnatally. Preterm infants, 31-35 wk gestation, were fed one of four diets: (a) human milk pasteurized at 62 °C for 30 min, 55% from a pooled source, 35% from the infant's own mother, with the remainder (∼10%) being fresh human milk; (b) an adapted infant formula (F1; (c) F1 supplemented with taurine. 30 μmol/dl. (F2); and (d) F1 with both taurine. 30 μmol/dl, and cholesterol, 9.0 mg/dl, to a total of 12.7 mg/dl, the levels found in human milk (F3). In all infants, the bile acid pool size increased nearly twofold between 11 and 35 days, irrespective of dietary regimens. Taurine conjugation of bile acids predominated in all infants at 11 days of age and at 35 days in those infants fed human milk or the taurine-supplemented formulas. In taurine-supplemented formulas, the conjugation pattern did not influence bile acid kinetics. However, the bile acid pool and intraluminal bile acid concentrations were significantly greater in infants fed human milk at all ages, suggesting that human milk feeding, per se, uniquely influences intestinal and possibly hepatic function independent of developmental factors.
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