M. K. Bhan, N. K. Arora, V. Khoshoo, P. Raj, S. Bhatnager, S. Sazawal, K. Sharma

Comparison of a Lactose‐Free Cereal‐Based Formula and Cow's Milk in Infants and Children with Acute Gastroenteritis

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

SummarySixty children < 2 years of age suffering from mild acute gastroenteritis with < 5% dehydration were randomly assigned to two different isocaloric feeding regimens, viz., a locally prepared milk‐free formulation (group A) of rice, lentil, sugar, and coconut oil and a spray dried commercial cow's milk formula (group B). There were two treatment failures in group A and one in group B. The postintervention duration of diarrhea (days) in group A (11.0 ± 10.0) was higher than in group B (7.6 ± 10.8), but these differences were not significant (p > 0.05). The energy intake (kcal/kg/24 h) on postintervention day 4 was 78.7 ± 31.7 in group A and 101.3 ± 41.1 in group B (p > 0.05). The corresponding values for day 7 were 74.2 ± 29.1 and 110.0 ± 41.1, respectively (p < 0.05). The mean weight gain (g/kg/24 h) between admission and the day of recovery in group A (2.0 ± 4.2) was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than in group B (5.8 ± 7.8). Similar trends in weight gain were observed at days 4 and 7. These findings suggest that a cow's milk‐based formula is well tolerated by majority of the infants with mild acute gastroenteritis after initial rehydration with ORS. The infants who were fed the milk‐free cereal‐based diet showed significantly less energy intake and gained weight less rapidly than those who were fed the cow's milk‐based formula.

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