Objective: Complications in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants include an increase in mortality, sepsis, failure to thrive, and immune system development disorder. However, breast milk is the preferred choice for premature infants. However, no useful nutrition support exists for well-being growth in preterm infants, especially in protein quantity. Thus, this study aims to add protein supplements to breast milk for increased growth criteria and the development of the immune system.
Materials and Methods: This double-blind clinical trial included 30 VLBW infants whose weight was <1,500 g and with ges-tational age <32 weeks. The infants were divided into three equal groups (n=10). Groups A and B received 4.8 and 3.5 gm/kg/day, respectively. However, group C was without supplement. Growth criteria (e.g., daily weight and head circumference) and weekly length were measured in all groups. Moreover, the blood sample was given pre (day 1) and post (day 21) study to analyze white blood cells, neutrophils, lymphocyte, immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin M, and immunoglobulin A (IgA).
Results: Based on the results of the current study, a dose of 4.8 g/kg/day of protein supplement caused a significant in-crease in weight and head circumference but did not affect length development. Furthermore, receiving high-dose protein supplements caused an increase in neutrophil and lymphocyte count and serum IgA concentration.
Conclusion: Receiving high-dose protein supplement caused the development of growth criteria and the development and evolution of immune system criteria especially the innate immune system that caused decrease infectious diseases such as sepsis.