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The preterm infant stomach actively degrades milk proteins with increasing breakdown across digestion time.

Authors
  • Demers-Mathieu, Veronique1
  • Qu, Yunyao1
  • Underwood, Mark A2
  • Dallas, David C1
  • 1 Nutrition Program, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.
  • 2 Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Acta Paediatrica
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2018
Volume
107
Issue
6
Pages
967–974
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/apa.14244
PMID: 29385274
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of time post-ingestion on gastric digestion and gastric hormones after feeding preterm infants unfortified and fortified human milk. Human milk and infant gastric samples were collected from 14 preterm (23-32 weeks birth gestational age) mother-infant pairs within 7-98 days postnatal age. Gastric samples were collected one, two and three hours after beginning of feeding. Samples were analysed for pH, proteolysis, general protease activity and the concentrations of pepsin, gastrin and gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP). One-way ANOVA with repeated measures followed by Tukey's multiple comparisons test was used. Gastric pH was significantly decreased after each hour in the preterm infant stomach from one to three hours postprandial. Proteolysis increased significantly from human milk to gastric contents at one, two and three hours postprandial (by 62, 131% and 181%, p < 0.05). General protease activity increased significantly by 58% from human milk to the gastric contents at two hours postprandial. GRP was present in human milk, whereas gastrin was produced in the infant stomach. Although preterm infants may digest human milk proteins to a lesser extent than term infants, we demonstrated that the preterm infant stomach actively degrades milk proteins with increasing breakdown over digestion time. ©2018 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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