β-GLUCURONIDASE AND HYPERBILIRUBINAEMIA IN BREAST-FED AND FORMULA-FED BABIES

G. R. Gourley, R. A. Arend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Breast milk or formula milk and serum samples from 34 breast-fed babies, 15 formula-fed babies, and their mothers were examined at 3 and 21 days of neonatal age. Infant faecal samples were obtained on day 21 only. At both ages serum total bilirubin concentrations were significantly higher in breast-fed than in formula-fed infants. β-glucuronidase activity in formula milk was negligible while that in human milk was considerable. Day 21 faecal β-glucuronidase was higher in the breast-fed babies. In the breast-fed babies, serum bilirubin levels were related to concentrations of β-glucuronidase in breast milk on both days 3 and 21 and to levels of faecal β-glucuronidase on day 21. In 4 additional babies whose feeds were temporarily changed from breast milk to formula milk because of hyperbilirubinaemia there was a striking decrease in faecal β-glucuronidase activity coincident with a fall in serum bilirubin. Breast milk β-glucuronidase seems to be an important factor in the neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia of breast-fed babies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-646
Number of pages3
JournalThe Lancet
Volume327
Issue number8482
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 22 1986

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Elizabeth Hoinville, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, for statistical analysis. This study was supported partly by a grant from North West Thames Regional Health Authority, and by Boots Company plc, which also provided the drugs and helped construct the therapeutic trial.

Copyright:
Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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