Phosphorus and calcium balance was measured prospectively in stable premature infants (≤1600 gm) fed human milk or a standard commercial formula. Throughout the study, the P and Ca intakes of the infants fed human milk were two to three times less than those of infants fed formula. Infants fed human milk showed low serum P and normal serum Ca concentrations, complete renal reabsorption of P, and elevated renal Ca excretion. The net effect in infants fed human milk was a 50% reduction in the P and Ca retention, compared with the formula-fed group. Despite the unfavorable P and Ca balance in the group fed human milk, the only evidence of rickets was elevated alkaline phosphatase activity. Nevertheless, based on the biochemical changes in these infants, low serum P values, and excess urinary calcium losses, we conclude that the stable small premature infant fed human milk exclusively is deficient in phosphorus and only slightly more sufficient in calcium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health