The Effect of Protein Intake on Composition of Weight Gain in Preterm Infants
The comparison between composition of weight gain in the fetus at 32–36 weeks post-conceptional age (1) and weight gain composition of the term infant during the first months of life (2) indicates that the term infant stores much more fat and less water than the fetus. Moreover, published data on weight gain composition of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants fed either human milk (HM) (3–6) or formula (F) (3,4,6) demonstrate that these infants store more fat than the fetus of the same post-conceptional age. It can be assumed that a high fat storage is the normal adaptation to extrauterine life. Alternatively, this high fat storage might also result from the intake of certain nutrients which quantitatively and/or qualitatively may not be adapted to the infant’s immature metabolic capacity. Body composition eventually achieved in the premature infant by 41 weeks will be very different from the body composition of a newly-born term infant.
KeywordsEnergy Intake Premature Infant Protein Intake Human Milk Extrauterine Life
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