NNIW86 - Protein in Neonatal and Infant Nutrition: Recent Updates

R Black, M. Makrides, K. Ong

There are many global changes today that influence the health of future generations; many arise from economic challenges and changes in social and cultural norms. The most prevalent topic of discussion is that of noncommunicable diseases, including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Yvan Vandenplas (Head of the Department of Pediatrics, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel) discussed the role of hydrolyzed proteins in infant feeding and the evidence-based benefits of its use in non breastfed babies at risk of allergy and infants with functional gastrointestinal disorders. Raanan Shamir (Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases, Schneider Children’s Medical Center, Israel, and Professor of Pediatrics, Sackler Faculty of Medicine), focused on human milk and its potential alternatives in the feeding of healthy term infants.

It was clearly stated that there is no comparable alternative to human milk. In a situation where breastfeeding is no longer possible, the protein quality and quantity in the infant formula should be the decision-making factor in the choice of the right food for that baby. Prof. Jatinder Bhatia (Professor and Chief of the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Georgia Regents University) talked about preterm infants, their nutrition needs and physiological capacities to ingest adequate amounts of protein for appropriate growth and development.

There is still a lot of research work to be done in this area, but it is very clear that proteins in the feeding of this category of infants play a critical role in both health outcome of these infants as well as later in life.