Press Esc to close
Monday 01 September 2014
News updated at 7:04 PM IST
Weather
Max: 27.4°C
Min : 19.4°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Formula food toxic for premature baby's cells

Washington, Dec 11, 2012, PTI:

Unsafe feed

Infant formula causes cellular death that may contribute to  necrotising enterocolitis, a severe intestinal condition that is often fatal and occurs most commonly in premature infants, says a new study.

University of California San Diego bio-engineers, based their study on tests comparing the digestion of fresh human breast milk and nine different infant formulas.

Scientists have long known that premature infants fed formula are more likely to develop necrotizing enterocolitis than those fed breast milk.

The condition is the leading cause of death from gastrointestinal diseases in premature infants, but the underlying mechanism has not been understood, the journal Paediatric Research reported.

Alexander Penn, working in the Microcirculation Lab of Geert Schmid-Schonbein, bio-engineering professor from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, believes they have come closer to an answer, according to a California statement.
The intestines of healthy adults and older children have a mature mucosal barrier that may prevent damage due to free fatty acids.


However, the intestine is leakier at birth, particularly for pre-term infants, which could be why they are more susceptible to necrotising  enterocolitis.

Therefore, the researchers wanted to know what happens to breast milk as compared to infant formula when they are exposed to digestive enzymes.

Overwhelmingly, the digestion of formula led to cellular death, or cytotoxicity - in less than five minutes in some cases -  while breast milk did not.

For example, digestion of formula caused death in 47  percent to 99 percent of neutrophils while only six percent of them died as a result of milk digestion.

The study found that breast milk appears to have a built-in mechanism to prevent cytotoxicity.

The research team believes most  food, like formula, releases high levels of free fatty acids during digestion, but that breast milk is digested in a slower, more controlled, process.

Currently, many neonatal intensive care units are moving towards formula-free environments, but breastfeeding a premature  infant can be challenging or physically impossible and  supplies of donor breast milk are limited.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Vehicles ply on a waterlogged road after heavy rains in Bhopal on...

Vehicles ply on a waterlogged road after heavy rains in Bhopal on...

Amitabh, Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan visit Lalbagucha Raja Mandal at Lalbaug in Mumbai on...

Amitabh, Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan visit Lalbagucha Raja Mandal at Lalbaug in Mumbai on...

Rabbi Moshe Gourarie from New Jersey looks at a wall riddled with bullet marks from the 2008...

Rabbi Moshe Gourarie from New Jersey looks at a wall riddled with bullet marks from the 2008...

Childrens walks with an umbrella as it rains at Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday....

Childrens walks with an umbrella as it rains at Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday....

Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan with father Rakesh Roshan and others participates in a procession...

Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan with father Rakesh Roshan and others participates in a procession...

Devotees immerse idols of Ganesha into a lake in Thane , Mumbai on Saturday.

Devotees immerse idols of Ganesha into a lake in Thane , Mumbai on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Golden Pavillion Temple in Kyoto, Japan on...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Golden Pavillion Temple in Kyoto, Japan on...

Bollywood actor Amisha Patel and family members participates in a procession for the immersion...

Bollywood actor Amisha Patel and family members participates in a procession for the immersion...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with CEO of Nidec Corporation, Shigenobu Nagamari...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with CEO of Nidec Corporation, Shigenobu Nagamari...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa in Kyoto, Japan...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa in Kyoto, Japan...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523