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May 1982

Use of Medium-Chain Triglycerides in Feeding the Low-Birth-Weight Infant

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics (Drs Okamoto and Heird and Mss Muttart and Zucker) and the Institute of Human Nutrition (Drs Okamoto and Heird and Ms Muttart), Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.

Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(5):428-431. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970410046011

• Intestinal fat absorption and anthropometric and clinical variables were monitored weekly in 21 low-birth-weight (LBW) infants fed either a whey-predominant cow's-milk formula (formula 1) or identical formulas with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) comprising 40% (formula 2) or 80% (formula 3) of the fat content. Fat absorption of infants fed formula 1 averaged 86.7% of intake, whereas that of infants fed formulas 2 and 3 averaged 93.8% and 95.4%, respectively. However, no differences in weight, length, head circumference, or skin fold thickness were observed. Moreover, intestinal symptoms were encountered more frequently in infants fed formulas 2 and 3. This demonstrated failure of the resulting small increase in fat absorption incident to MCTs either to promote enhanced growth or to confer obvious clinical benefit does not support the increasing use of MCT formulas for routine feeding of LBW infants.

(Am J Dis Child 1982;136:428-431)