Milk protein quantity and quality in low birth weight infants: II. Effects on selected aliphatic amino acids in plasma and urine

D. K. Rassin, G. E. Gaull, K. Heinonen, N. C.R. Raiha

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The optimal quantity and quality of protein for low birth weight infants is undefined. In this study, 106 well, appropriate for gestational age, low birth weight infants weighing 2,100 g or less were divided into 3 gestational age groups and assigned randomly within each age group to 1 of 5 feeding regimens: pooled human milk; formula 1 (protein content, 1.5 g/100 ml, 60 parts bovine whey proteins to 40 parts bovine caseins) formula 2 (3.0 g/100 ml, 60:40); formula 3 (1.5 g/100 ml, 18:82); and formula 4 (3.0 g/100 ml, 18:82). The concentrations of the free amino acids in the plasma and urine of these infants were determined. The plasma concentrations of free amino acids were generally far greater in the infants fed the 3.0 g/100 ml protein diets than they were in the infants fed pooled human milk. The plasma concentrations of free amino acids of the infants fed the 1.5 g/100 ml protein diets were intermediate. In general, the concentrations of the free amino acids in the plasma of the infants fed the 3.0 g/100 ml casein predominant formula (F4) were furthest from those fed pooled human milk. Glutamate showed the highest plasma amino acid concentrations in infants fed both the high and low protein casein predominant formulas. This was true despite the fact that the intake of glutamate on the high protein, whey predominant formula was twice that on the low protein, casein predominant formula. The differences between groups in the essential amino acids in plasma were generally greater than those of the nonessential amino acids. The concentrations of amino acids in the urine tended to parallel those of the plasma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-422
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1977


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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