Fractional deposition of metabolizable energy (ME) in very low birth weight infants (VLBW): 28


The increasing survival of VLBW premature infants requires a precise knowledge of utilization of essential nutrients (P=protein F=fat, C=carbohydrate) in order to design suitable dietary regimes Energy balance (EB), substrate utilization for oxidation (0) and tissue deposition studies were performed on VLBW premature infants (n=10; gest. age 27-31 weeks; birth weight 940 - 1280 g; postnat. age 1 - 4 weeks) fed by own mother's milk (6 studies on 4 infants) or humanized milk (SMA 20/24 Wyeth; 13 studies on 6 infants). EB for growth was determined by the equation: EB = ME - 0 (P+F+C). By increasing the net energy intake (NEI) from 50 to 150 Kcal/kg/day, resting metabolic rate (RMR) increased from 38 to 58 Kcal/kg/day in the formula fed infants (FFI) and from 45 to 58 in the breast fed infants (BFI). In a range of 50-110 Kcal/kg/day NEI the RMR was consistently higher in BFI. The latter deposited more P than FFI at the same level of NEI. At a NEI of 100 Kcal/kg/day FFI deposited 1 g P/day in contrast to the 2 g/kg/day P deposition observed in the BFI. Tissue deposition of F increases with the enhancement of NEI in both FFI and BFI but the relationship is the reverse to that observed for P deposition. At a 100 Kcal/kg/day NEI 18 Kcal/kg/day energy is deposited as F in the BFI in contrast to the 28 Kcal/kg/day deposition in FFI. It is concluded that the quality of growth (P v.F deposition) in response to a specific diet composition may be defined by our investigative approach.

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Verellen, G., Heim, T., Smith, J. et al. Fractional deposition of metabolizable energy (ME) in very low birth weight infants (VLBW): 28. Pediatr Res 14, 170 (1980).

Download citation