Jacques Rigo, Günther Boehm, Gilda Georgi, Jürgen Jelinek, Kindja Nyambugabo, Günther Sawatzki, Fréderic Studzinski

An Infant Formula Free of Glycomacropeptide Prevents Hyperthreoninemia in Formula‐Fed Preterm Infants

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

ABSTRACTBackgroundHyperthreoninemia is a well‐known phenomenon in infants fed a whey protein‐predominant formula. Sweet whey is commonly used for the production of these whey‐predominant infant milk formulas. Sweet whey contains not only whey proteins but also the threonine‐rich glycomacropeptide (GMP). In the current study, an experimental formula based on acid whey without GMP and a formula based on sweet whey with GMP (threonine content 17.2 % higher than in the experimental formula) but otherwise with identical composition were tested with particular respect to threonine metabolism.MethodsFourteen preterm infants appropriate for gestational age were enrolled in this randomized cross‐over study. After a feeding period of at least 7 days, the nutrition of each infant was switched to the other formula for the second feeding period. At the end of each feeding period, the concentrations of creatinine and amino acids in the plasma and in the urine were measured.ResultsIn the plasma, the threonine concentration was significantly lower in the group fed the experimental GMP‐free formula than in the group fed the sweet whey formula (P < 0.001). Renal excretion of all essential amino acids was generally very low and less than 2% of the intake, indicating that the kidneys had no marked homeostatic function with respect to plasma amino acid. The plasma concentrations of the threonine metabolites glycine and serine, and that of urea were not influenced by diet.ConclusionFeeding a whey protein‐predominant bovine milk produced from acid whey protein reduces significantly the hyperthreoninemia commonly found in formula‐fed preterm infants. Thus, acid whey formulas should be recommended for feeding preterm infants.

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