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March 1960

Enzyme Concentration and Absorption of Protein and Glucose in Duodenum of Premature Infants

Author Affiliations

Göteborg, Sweden
From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Gothenburg, and the Department of Physiological Chemistry, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1960;99(3):338-343. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.02070030340010

It has often been stated that premature infants as compared with full-term infants are handicapped in utilization of their food due to relative enzyme deficiency. This has been indicated above all to apply to the proteins, and therefore it has been recommended to supply their ordinary food with casein hydrolysates. In histological and chemical investigations of pancreas from premature infants 0-5 days old, Werner (1948) found that pancreas in infants with a birth weight below 2,000 gm. showed an extremely immature picture with little or no tryptic activity. She therefore concluded that the premature infant, as compared with the full-term infant is very poorly equipped for the task of protein digestion. Gschwind (1950) has investigated the presence of trypsin, lipase, and diastase in pancreas of premature and full-term infants of varying age. Especially the activity of lipase and diastase was reduced, but even the proteolytic activity was decreased. This author

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