The Development of Heart and Brain Function in Low-Birth-Weight Infants Fed with Taurine-Supplemented Formula
Taurine is important for the development of the nervous (7,18) and cardiovascular system (1,8). The biosynthesis of taurine seems to be reduced in preterm and term infants (3,18). The taurine content of human breast milk is high compared to infant formula or bovine milk, from which such formulas are prepared (2,16), The taurine concentrations of plasma and urine were found to be lower in formula-fed infants than in those fed human milk or taurine-supplemented formula (3,11,17), but there were no differences in growth of the infants. In contrast, infant monkeys raised from birth on an infant formula showed growth depression, which could be prevented by taurine supplementation (5). According to these studies taurine was thought to be essential for human infants, and was added to infant formulas. But clinical data supporting this hypothesis are still lacking, especially those regarding the need of supplemental taurine for the development of the nervous and cardiovascular system. We, therefore, investigated the effect of dietary taurine deficiency and supplementation on heart and brain function in low-birth-weight infants.
KeywordsHuman Milk Infant Formula Short Bowel Syndrome Sulfur Amino Acid Taurine Supplementation
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