Medical Student University of Nebraska Medical Center University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Background: Human breast milk (BM) is the ideal nutrition source for infants. Fat-soluble nutrients present in BM function as antioxidants protecting cells from damage caused by oxidative stress modulating co-morbidities of prematurity including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, retinopathy of prematurity, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Relationships between fat-soluble nutrients in maternal blood and neonatal growth and outcomes have been described. There is a gap in knowledge of the impact of concentrations of BM fat-soluble nutrients & effect on neonatal growth and outcomes.
Objective: To evaluate correlations between BM concentrations of fat-soluble nutrients and neonatal growth in a Midwestern newborn intensive care unit (NICU).
Design/Methods: Data from 24 NICU maternal-infant pairs was analyzed. BM fat-soluble nutrients measured were lutein + zeaxanthin, b-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, a and b carotene, and retinol. Outcomes of interest were weight, head circumference, and length growth percentiles at birth (all infants) and 36 weeks corrected gestational age (CGA) for preterm infants. In preterm infants the number of days on oxygen therapy were analyzed. Spearman correlations were used to assess relationships. A p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: 68% of infants were born premature and 36% of infants were diagnosed with respiratory distress syndrome. The median gestational age at birth was 35.9 weeks with median birthweight 2356 grams, (49th % for growth). The fat-soluble nutrients analyzed had multiple statistically significant correlations anthropometrics at 36 weeks CGA, there were fewer correlations with birth anthropometrics (Table 1). BM levels of Lutein + zeaxanthin, b-cryptoxanthin, and retinol had statistically significant negative correlations with days of oxygen therapy (Table 1). Conclusion(s): Although the majority of fat-soluble nutrient levels in BM did not correlate with birth anthropometrics, BM levels showed positive correlation with growth percentiles at 36 weeks CGA, suggesting that these infants had superior postnatal growth as compared with infants consuming BM with lower amounts of these fat-soluble nutrients. Similarly, these infants also required less days on oxygen therapy which may be attributed to increased antioxidant levels and improved ability to combat oxidative stress. Future research should assess a larger, more heterogeneous sample size and compare additional neonatal clinical outcomes.
Authors/Institutions: Chelsey Urbauer, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States; Melissa Thoene, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States; Matthew Van Ormer, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States; Ann L Anderson Berry, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States