Plasma concentrations of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols in term newborns after milk feeding

Laura D Brown, Claudio Cavalli, Jeri E F Harwood, Annachiara Casadei, Cecilia C Teng, Cristina Traggiai, Giovanni Serra, Giulio Bevilacqua, Frederick C Battaglia
Pediatric Research 2008, 64 (2): 189-93
Nonglucose carbohydrates such as galactose, mannose, and inositol play a clinically important role in fetal and neonatal nutrition, though little is known about their metabolism in the neonate. The aim of this study was to determine whether postprandial changes in plasma carbohydrate and sugar alcohol concentrations are affected by clinical variables such as postnatal age (PNA), milk type, feeding volume, or feeding duration in term newborns. Neonates (n = 26) taking intermittent enteral feedings were enrolled. Blood samples were obtained at baseline (immediately before the start of a feeding) and at 2-3 subsequent time points up to 110 min. Postprandial rise was only observed for plasma glucose concentrations [Glu] and plasma galactose concentrations [Gal] and clinical variables did not predict this change. Despite equimolar delivery in milk, the median of [Glu] rise minus [Gal] rise from baseline to second postprandial plasma sample was 674 microM (-38, 3333 microM; p < 0.0001), reflecting efficient hepatic first-pass metabolism of galactose. A significant PNA effect on [Gal] was observed such that for each day PNA there was an 18% decrease in [Gal] (p = 0.03). [Gal] are a function of PNA, suggesting maintenance of a significant ductus venosus shunt in term infants.

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