Nutrient Utilization in Term Infants

  • Mary Frances Picciano


The provision of optimal nutrition during infancy is paramount considering the rapidity with which infants grow during the postnatal period. Human growth rate is the highest in infancy, with the exception of that experienced in utero. Median growth rate in infancy is about 10 g/Kg/d at 2 to 4 weeks, 3.5 g/Kg/d at 12 to 16 weeks, and 1 g/Kg/day at the end of the first year of life (1). During the most intensive growth period of early infancy, human milk or an appropriate substitute is the principal, if not the only source of required nutrients for acquisition and maintenance of bodily tissues. Marked compositional differences exist among human milk and infant formula preparations and, in large part, the physiological significance of these differences has not been evaluated.


Human Milk Infant Formula Term Infant Total Amino Acid Plasma Amino Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Fomon, S.J. “Infant Nutrition,” 2nd edition, W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 1974.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Oski, F.A., Honig, A.S., Helu, B. and Howanitz, P. Effect of iron therapy on behavioral performance in non-anemic, iron deficient infants. Pediatrics 71: 877 1983.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    McMillan, J.A., Oski, F.A., Lourie, G., Tomarelli, R.M. and Landaw, S.A. Iron absorption from human milk, simulated human milk and proprietary formulas. Pediatrics 60: 896 1977.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Saarinen, U.M., Siimes, M.A. and Dallman, P.A. Iron absorption in infants; High bioavailability of breast milk iron as indicated by the extrinsic tag method of iron absorption and by the concentration of serum ferritin. J. Pediatr. 91: 36 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hambidge, K.M., Walravens, P.A., Casey, C.E., Brown, R.M. and Bender, C. Plasma zinc concentrations of breast-fed infants. J. Pediatr. 94: 607 1979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sandstrom, B., Keen, C.L. and Lonnerdal, B. An experimental model for studies of zinc bioavailability from milk and infant formula using extrinsic labeling. Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 38: 420 1983.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Widdowson, E.M. Growth and composition of the fetus and newborn, in: “Biology of Gestation, Volume 2,” N.S. Assali, ed., Academic Press, New York, 1968.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Matthews, D.E. and Beir, D.M. Stable isotope methods for nutritional investigation. Ann. Rev. Nutr. 3: 309 1983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fomon, S.J. and Owen, G.M. Comment on metabolic studies as a method of estimating body composition of infants. Pediatrics 29: 495 1962.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Saarinen, U.M. and Siimes, M.A. Iron absorption from breast milk, cow’s milk and iron-supplemented formula; An opportunistic use of changes in total body iron determined by haemoglobin, ferritin and body weight in 132 infants. Pediatric Res. 13: 143 1979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Widdowson, E.M., Dauncey, J. and Shaw, J.C.L. Trace elements in fetal and early postnatal development. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 33: 275 1974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shaw, J.C.L. Trace elements in the fetus and young infant. II. Copper, manganese, selenium and chromium. Am. J. Dis. Child. 134: 74 1980.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Stekel, A. “Iron Nutrition in Infancy,” Raven Press, New York, 1984.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hambidge, K.M. Zinc deficiency in man; its origins and effects. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 294: 129 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Widdowson, E.M., Chan, H., Harrison, G.E., and Milner, R.B.G. Accumulation of copper, zinc, manganese, chromium and cobalt in the human liver before birth. Biol. Neonate 20: 360 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Salmenpera, L., Perheentupa, J., Pakarinen, P. and Siimes, M. Copper nutrition in infants during prolonged exclusive breast-feeding: Low intake but rising serum concentration of Cu and ceruloplasmin. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 43: 251 1986.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hambidge, K.M. Trace elements in pediatric nutrition. Adv. Pediatr. 24: 191 1977.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lombeck, I., Kasperek, K., Karbirsch, H.D., Feinendegen, I.E. and Bremer, H.J. The selenium states of healthy children. I. Serum selenium concentration at different ages; selenium content of food of infants. Eur. J. Pediatr. 125: 81 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Smith, A.M., Picciano, M.F. and Milner, J.A. Selenium intakes and status of human milk and formula fed infants. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 35: 521 1982.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hatano, S., Aihara, K., Nishi, Y. and Usui, T. Trace elements (copper, zinc, manganese and selenium) in plasma and erythrocytes in relation to dietary intake during infancy. J. Ped. Gastr. and Nutr. 4: 87 1985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lonnerdal, B. Dietary factors affecting trace element bioavailability from human milk, cow’s milk and infant formulas. Progress in Food and Nutrition Science 9: 35 1985.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    McMillan, J.A., Lanaw, S.A. and Oski, F.A. Iron sufficiency in breast-fed infants and the availability of iron from human milk. Pediatrics 58: 686 1976.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Saarinen, U.M. Need for iron supplementation in infants on prolonged breast feeding. J. Pediatr. 93: 177 1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Casey, C.E., Walravens, P.A., and Hambidge, K.M. Availability of zinc: loading test with human milk, cow’s milk and infant formulas. Pediatrics 68: 394 1981.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    World Health Organization. “Energy and Protein Reguirements,” Technical Report Series No. 724, FAO/WHO, Geneva, 1985.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Holt, L.E., and Snyderman, S.E. The amino acid requirements of children, in: “Amino Acid Metabolism and Genetic Variation,” W.L. Nyhan, ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1967.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Fomon, S.J., Thomas, L.N., Filer, L.J., et al. Requirements for protein and essential amino acids in early infancy. Acta Paediatr. Scand. 62: 33 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Janas, L.M., and Picciano, M.F. Quantities of amino acids ingested by human milk-fed infants. J. Pediatr. 109: 802 1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Raiha, N.C.R., Heinonen, K., Rassin, D.K., and Gaull, G.E. Milk protein quantity and quality in low-birth-weight infants. I. Metabolic responses and effects on growth. Pediatrics 57: 659 1976.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Rassin, D.K., Gaull, G.E., Heinonen, K., and Raiha, N.C.R. Milk protein quantity and quality in low-birth-weight infants. II. Effects on selected aliphatic amino acids in plasma and urine. Pediatrics 59: 407 1977.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rassin, D.K., Gaull, G.E., Raiha, N.C.R., and Heinonen, K. Milk protein quantity and quality in low-birth-weight infants. IV. Effects on tyrosine and phenylalanine in plasma and urine. J. Pediatr. 90: 356 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Gaull, G.E., Rassin, D.K., Raiha, N.C.R., and Heinonen, K. Milk protein quantity and quality in low-birth-weight infants. III. Effects on sulfur amino acids in plasma and urine. J. Pediatr. 90: 348 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Jarvenpaa, A.L., Raiha, N.C.R., Rassin, D.K., and Gaull, G.E. Milk protein quantity and quality in the term infant. I. Metabolic responses and effects on growth. Pediatrics 70: 214 1982.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Jarvenpaa, A.L., Rassin, D.K., Raiha, N.C.R., and Gaull, G.E. Milk protein quantity and quality in the term infant. II. Effects on acidic and neutral amino acids. Pediatrics 70: 221 1982.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Mignone, F., Oggero, R., Galvagno, G., and Bonetti, G. Plasma amino acids during the first five months of life. Minerva Pediatrica 34: 337 1982.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Janas, L.M., Picciano, M.F., and Hatch, T.F. Indices of protein metabolism in term infants fed human milk, whey-predominant formula, or cow’s milk formula. Pediatrics 75: 775 1985.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Mamunes, P., Prince, P.E., Thornton, N.H., Hunt, P.S., and Hitchcock, E.S. Intellectual deficits aftr transient tyrosinemia in the term neonate. Pediatrics 57: 675 1976.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Sternowsky, H., and Heigl, K. Tyrosine and its metabolites in urine and serum of premature and mature newborns: Increased values during formula versus breast feeding. Eur. J. Pediatr. 132: 179 1979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Winters, R.W., Heird, W.C., Dell, R.B., and Nicholson, J.F. Plasma amino acids in infants receiving parenteral nutrition, in: Amino Acid. Part III. Delivery of Nitrogen. “Clinical Nutrition Update,” 1977.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Janas, L.M., Picciano, M.F., and Hatch, T.F. Indices of protein metabolism in term infants fed formula with reduced protein concentrations and altered whey to casein ratios. J. Pediatr. (in press).Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Lucas, A., Adrian-Sarson, D.L., Blackburn, A.M., et al. Breast vs. bottle: Endocrine responses are different with formula feeding. Lancet 2: 1267 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Lucas, A., Boyes, B., Bloom, S.R., et al. Metabolic and endocrine responses to a milk feed in 6 day old term infants: Differences between breast and cow’s milk formula feeding. Acta Paediatr. Scand. 70: 195 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Lucas, A., Sarson, D.L., Bloom, S.R., et al. Developmental aspects of gastric inhibitory poly peptide (GIP) and its possible role in the enteroinsular axis in neonates. Acta Paediatr. Scand. 69: 321 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Aynsley-Green, A. Metabolic and endocrine interrelations in the human fetus and neonate. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 41; 399, 1985.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Fernstrom, J.D., and Wurtman, R.J. Brain serotonin content: Physiological dependence on plasma tryptophan levels. Science 173: 149 1971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Ginsburg, B.E., Lindblad, B.S., Persson, B., et al. Plasma valine and urinary C-peptide in infants. The effect of substituting breast-feeding with formula or formula with human milk. Acta Paediatr. Scand. 74: 615 1985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Frances Picciano
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Human Resources and Family Studies Division of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations