Medindia
Advertisement

Breastfeeding Benefits Micro-preemies

by Colleen Fleiss on April 28, 2019 at 3:19 AM

Breastfeeding Benefits Micro-preemies

In micro-preemies, breastfeeding was found to increase levels of metabolites important for brain growth and development, according to sophisticated imaging conducted by an interdisciplinary research team at Children's National.

"Our previous research established that vulnerable preterm infants who are fed breast milk early in life have improved brain growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes. It was unclear what makes breastfeeding so beneficial for newborns' developing brains," says Catherine Limperopoulos, Ph.D., director of MRI Research of the Developing Brain at Children's National. "Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a non-invasive imaging technique that describes the chemical composition of specific brain structures, enables us to measure metabolites essential for growth and answer that lingering question."

Advertisement


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 10 U.S. infants is born preterm. The Children's research team presented their findings during the Pediatric Academic Societies 2019 Annual Meeting.

The research-clinicians enrolled babies who were very low birthweight (less than 1,500 grams) and 32 weeks gestational age or younger at birth when they were admitted to Children's neonatal intensive care unit in the first week of life. The team gathered data from the right frontal white matter and the cerebellum - a brain region that enables people to maintain balance and proper muscle coordination and that supports high-order cognitive functions.
Advertisement

Each chemical has its own a unique spectral fingerprint. The team generated light signatures for key metabolites and calculated the quantity of each metabolite. Of note:

Cerebral white matter spectra showed significantly greater levels of inositol (a molecule similar to glucose) for babies fed breast milk, compared with babies fed formula. Cerebellar spectra had significantly greater creatine levels for breastfed babies compared with infants fed formula.

And the percentage of days infants were fed breast milk was associated with significantly greater levels of both creatine and choline, a water soluble nutrient.

"Key metabolite levels ramp up during the times babies' brains experience exponential growth," says Katherine M. Ottolini, the study's lead author. "Creatine facilitates recycling of ATP, the cell's energy currency. Seeing greater quantities of this metabolite denotes more rapid changes and higher cellular maturation. Choline is a marker of cell membrane turnover; when new cells are generated, we see choline levels rise."

Already, Children's National leverages an array of imaging options that describe normal brain growth, which makes it easier to spot when fetal or neonatal brain development goes awry, enabling earlier intervention and more effective treatment.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
'Hybrid Immunity' may Help Elude COVID-19 Pandemic
Stroop Effect
Plant-Based Diet may Reduce the Risk of COVID-19
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Importance of Breastfeeding Nutrient Needs in Lactation Switching Baby from Bottle to Cup How and When to Stop Breastfeeding 

Recommended Reading
Effects of Consuming Alcohol while Breastfeeding
Is alcohol safe during breastfeeding? The answer and the effects of consumption of alcohol by a ......
How and When to Stop Breastfeeding
If you want to stop breastfeeding, then here is your guide to doing it the right way. Find the ......
Quiz on Breastfeeding
New moms-to-be can be skeptic about breastfeeding and related issues. Test your knowledge on the .....
Is It Safe to Vaccinate Mothers During Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding mothers can be vaccinated according to the recommended schedules except for smallpox ....
Importance of BreastFeeding
From antibodies, to the exclusive nutrients, the benefits of breastfeeding are incalculable....
Nutrient Needs in Lactation
Inadequacies in a lactating mother’s diet influences both the quantity and quality of milk secreted,...
Switching Baby from Bottle to Cup
Find tips on how to switch toddler from bottles and sippy cups to adult cups and say bye-bye to bott...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use