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1.  A Novel Approach to Improving Fat Delivery in Neonatal Enteral Feeding 
Nutrients  2015;7(6):5051-5064.
Continuous infusion systems used for enteral nutrition support in the neonatal intensive care unit deliver as little as 60% of the fat in human milk to the neonate. This study determined the effect of mixing common feedings for preterm infants in the feeding bag and tubing on fat losses during enteral feeding. Laboratory models were developed to assess the contribution of various mixing techniques to delivered fat content. Fat content was measured periodically during feeding and compared to baseline measurements. A multistage approach incorporating a feeding bag inverter and a tubing circulation loop delivered >90% of milk fat when used in conjunction with a commercial continuous infusion system. With unfortified human milk, this approach delivered 91.9% ± 1.5% of fat content over a one hour feed, significantly greater (p < 0.01) than 77.5% ± 2.2% delivered by continuous infusion controls (Mean ± SEM). With fortified human milk, this approach delivered 92.1% ± 2.4% of fat content, significantly greater (p < 0.01) than 79.4% ± 1.0% delivered by a non-adapted infusion system (Mean ± SEM). Mixing human milk during continuous infusion improves fat delivery, which may improve nutrition and growth outcomes in low birth weight neonates.
PMCID: PMC4488830  PMID: 26110253
enteral nutrition; breast milk; human milk-derived fortifier; very low birth weight; neonates; neonatal intensive care units; nutriflow
2.  Evaluation of an inexpensive calcium absorption index in healthy older men and women 
Clinical endocrinology  2009;72(1):22-25.
Calcium absorption is an important determinant of calcium retention and bone metabolism. However, most methods of measuring calcium absorption, including the well-established dual stable isotope method, are costly and cumbersome to implement. We evaluated whether an oral calcium tolerance test (OCTT), which involves measuring calcium excretion in a fasting 2-h urine collection and two 2-h collections following an oral calcium dose, may be a useful index of calcium absorption in older adults consuming a fixed calcium intake of 30 mmol/day.
After a 10-day metabolic diet containing 30 mmol/day of calcium, subjects had calcium absorption measured using the dual stable isotope method and the OCTT.
Eleven healthy subjects aged 54–74 years.
Fractional calcium absorption (FCA), calcium excretion in a fasting 2-h urine collection and two 2-h collections in response to a 10-mmol calcium dose (total intake 30 mmol/ day).
Calcium excretion from several combinations of the urine collections was examined in relation to FCA. The most predictive of FCA was calcium excretion 4 h following the calcium dose. This measure was significantly correlated with FCA (r = 0·735, P = 0·010), fitting 54% of the variability in FCA.
Urinary calcium excretion during the 4 h after a 10-mmol calcium dose is a useful index of calcium absorption among older adults consuming recommended calcium intakes. This test is inexpensive, easy to implement and potentially useful in large clinical studies.
PMCID: PMC4431538  PMID: 19320650
3.  Serum Phosphorus Levels in Premature Infants Receiving a Donor Human Milk Derived Fortifier 
Nutrients  2015;7(4):2562-2573.
An elevated serum phosphorus (P) has been anecdotally described in premature infants receiving human milk fortified with donor human milk-derived fortifier (HMDF). No studies have prospectively investigated serum P in premature infants receiving this fortification strategy. In this single center prospective observational cohort study, extremely premature infants ≤1250 grams (g) birth weight (BW) were fed an exclusive human milk-based diet receiving HMDF and serum P levels were obtained. We evaluated 93 infants with a mean gestational age of 27.5 ± 2.0 weeks (Mean ± SD) and BW of 904 ± 178 g. Seventeen infants (18.3%) had at least one high serum P level with a mean serum P of 9.2 ± 1.1 mg/dL occurring at 19 ± 11 days of life. For all infants, the highest serum P was inversely correlated to the day of life of the infant (p < 0.001, R2 = 0.175) and positively correlated with energy density of HMDF (p = 0.035). Serum P was not significantly related to gender, BW, gestational age, or days to full feeds. We conclude that the incidence of hyperphosphatemia was mild and transient in this population. The risk decreased with infant age and was unrelated to gender, BW, or ethnicity.
PMCID: PMC4425161  PMID: 25912036
neonate; phosphorus; hyperphosphatemia; human milk; exclusive human milk-based diet; human milk-derived fortifier; prematurity; creatinine; donor milk; very low birth weight
4.  Fortifier and Cream Improve Fat Delivery in Continuous Enteral Infant Feeding of Breast Milk 
Nutrients  2015;7(2):1174-1183.
Premature and high-risk infants require accurate delivery of nutrients to promote appropriate growth. Continuous enteral feeding methods may result in significant fat and micronutrient loss. This study evaluated fat loss in enteral nutrition using current strategies for providing high-risk infants fortified human milk (HM). The fat content of HM was measured by IR analyzer in a simulated feeding system using the Kangaroo ePump™ and the MedFusion™ 2010 pump. Comparisons in fat loss were made between HM, HM supplemented with donor HM-derived fortifier Prolacta + H2MF™ (H2MF), and HM supplemented with H2MF and donor HM-derived cream ProlactCR™ (cream). When using the Kangaroo ePump™, the addition of H2MF and cream to HM increased fat delivery efficiency from 75.0% ± 1.2% to 83.7% ± 1.0% (p < 0.0001). When using the MedFusion™ 2010 pump, the addition of H2MF to HM increased fat delivery efficiency from 83.2% ± 2.8% to 88.8% ± 0.8% (p < 0.05), and the addition of H2MF and cream increased fat delivery efficiency to 92.0% ± 0.3% (p < 0.01). The addition of H2MF and cream to HM provides both the benefits of bioactive elements from mother’s milk and increased fat delivery, making the addition of H2MF and cream an appropriate method to improve infant weight gain.
PMCID: PMC4344582  PMID: 25679230
enteral nutrition; breast milk; human milk-derived fortifier; human milk-derived cream supplement; very low birth weight; neonates; Kangaroo ePump™; MedFusion™ pump; neonatal intensive care units
5.  Fish Oil–Based Lipid Emulsions in the Treatment of Parenteral Nutrition-Associated Liver Disease: An Ongoing Positive Experience123 
Advances in Nutrition  2014;5(1):65-70.
We previously reported the beneficial effect of fish oil-based lipid emulsions (FOLEs) as monotherapy in the treatment of parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease (PNALD). In this report, we share our ongoing experience at Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas in the use of FOLE in treatment of PNALD as presented at the 2013 Experimental Biology meeting. We describe the findings of a single center, prospective, observational study of infants <6 mo of age with PNALD who received parenteral FOLE as monotherapy. A total of 97 infants received FOLE under the compassionate-use protocol for the treatment of PNALD. Eighty-three (86%) survived with resolution of cholestasis and 14 (14%) died. The median conjugated bilirubin (CB) concentration at the initiation of FOLE therapy was 4.8 mg/dL (range 2.1–26). The median time to resolution of cholestasis was 40 d (range 3–158). Compared with infants with mild cholestasis (CB of 2.1–5 mg/dL at the initiation of FOLE), nonsurvivors were significantly more premature and took longer to resolve their cholestasis. Gestational age at birth correlated inversely with CB at the beginning of FOLE and peak CB. Infants with an initial CB >10 mg/dL had a higher mortality rate than infants with an initial CB <5 mg/dL (35% vs. 6%; P < 0.05). Our experience with the use of FOLE in PNALD continues to be encouraging. Prematurity continues to be a major determinant in mortality and severity of cholestasis. This calls for further controlled studies designed to optimize dose and timing of intervention in the use of FOLE in neonates.
PMCID: PMC3884101  PMID: 24425724
6.  Impact of New-Generation Parenteral Lipid Emulsions in Pediatric Nutrition123 
Advances in Nutrition  2013;4(5):518-520.
Advancements in the care of premature infants and infants with severe bowel disease have occurred in which long-term use of i.v. nutrition is a cornerstone of successful therapy. Concern about the role of i.v. lipid emulsions in causing severe liver damage to high-risk infants receiving long-term i.v. nutrition has led to a variety of intervention strategies. These have had relatively limited success until the recent introduction of omega-3 (n–3) fatty acid-containing forms of lipid emulsions in place of the current omega-6 fatty acid-predominant lipid emulsions currently exclusively used in the United States. Preliminary data based on nonrandomized trials performed using compassionate-use protocols in the United States suggest very high rates of resolution of cholestasis with the use of an omega-3 fatty acid-predominant lipid emulsion. This result is supported by animal models of liver disease that demonstrate decreased liver damage when animals are provided omega-3 fatty acid-containing lipid emulsions compared with those primarily omega-6 fatty acid based. However, human trials are limited at this time and further research is needed to establish the best approach to preventing liver damage in infants receiving i.v. nutrition and the optimal dose and timing of intervention with novel lipid emulsions.
PMCID: PMC3771135  PMID: 24038243
7.  Greater Mortality and Morbidity in Extremely Preterm Infants Fed a Diet Containing Cow Milk Protein Products 
Breastfeeding Medicine  2014;9(6):281-285.
Background: Provision of human milk has important implications for the health and outcomes of extremely preterm (EP) infants. This study evaluated the effects of an exclusive human milk diet on the health of EP infants during their stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Subjects and Methods: EP infants <1,250 g birth weight received a diet consisting of either human milk fortified with a human milk protein-based fortifier (HM) (n=167) or a diet containing variable amounts of milk containing cow milk-based protein (CM) (n=93). Principal outcomes were mortality, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), growth, and duration of parenteral nutrition (PN).
Results: Mortality (2% versus 8%, p=0.004) and NEC (5% versus 17%, p=0.002) differed significantly between the HM and CM groups, respectively. For every 10% increase in the volume of milk containing CM, the risk of sepsis increased by 17.9% (p<0.001). Growth rates were similar between groups. The duration of PN was 8 days less in the subgroup of infants receiving a diet containing <10% CM versus ≥10% CM (p<0.02).
Conclusions: An exclusive human milk diet, devoid of CM-containing products, was associated with lower mortality and morbidity in EP infants without compromising growth and should be considered as an approach to nutritional care of these infants.
PMCID: PMC4074755  PMID: 24867268
8.  Suppression of PTEN Function Increases Breast Cancer Chemotherapeutic Drug Resistance while Conferring Sensitivity to mTOR Inhibitors 
Oncogene  2008;27(29):10.1038/onc.2008.49.
Ectopic expression of mutant forms of PTEN lacking lipid (G129E) or lipid and protein (C124S) phosphatase activity decreased sensitivity of MCF-7 breast cancer cells, which have wild-type PTEN, to doxorubicin and increased sensitivity to the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. Cells transfected with a mutant PTEN gene lacking both lipid and protein phosphatase activity were more resistant to doxorubicin than cells transfected with the PTEN mutant lacking lipid phosphatase activity indicating that the protein phosphatase activity of PTEN was also important in controlling the sensitivity to doxorubicin, while no difference was observed between the lipid (G129E) and lipid and protein (C124S) phosphatase PTEN mutants in terms of sensitivity to rapamycin. A synergistic inhibitory interaction was observed when doxorubicin was combined with rapamycin in the phosphatase-deficient PTEN-transfected cells. Interference with the lipid phosphatase activity of PTEN was sufficient to activate Akt/mTOR/p70S6K signaling. These studies indicate that disruption of the normal activity of the PTEN phosphatase can have dramatic effects on the therapeutic sensitivity of breast cancer cells. Mutations in the key residues which control PTEN lipid and protein phosphatase may act as dominant negative mutants to suppress endogenous PTEN and alter the sensitivity of breast cancer patients to chemo- and targeted therapies.
PMCID: PMC3836277  PMID: 18332865
PTEN; Akt; mTOR; Rapamycin; Chemotherapeutic Drugs
9.  Human milk feeding supports adequate growth in infants ≤ 1250 grams birth weight 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:459.
Despite current nutritional strategies, premature infants remain at high risk for extrauterine growth restriction. The use of an exclusive human milk-based diet is associated with decreased incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), but concerns exist about infants achieving adequate growth. The objective of this study was to evaluate growth velocities and incidence of extrauterine growth restriction in infants ≤ 1250 grams (g) birth weight (BW) receiving an exclusive human milk-based diet with early and rapid advancement of fortification using a donor human milk derived fortifier.
In a single center, prospective observational cohort study, preterm infants weighing ≤ 1250 g BW were fed an exclusive human milk-based diet until 34 weeks postmenstrual age. Human milk fortification with donor human milk derived fortifier was started at 60 mL/kg/d and advanced to provide 6 to 8 additional kilocalories per ounce (or 0.21 to 0.28 kilocalories per gram). Data for growth were compared to historical growth standards and previous human milk-fed cohorts.
We consecutively evaluated 104 infants with mean gestational age of 27.6 ± 2.0 weeks and BW of 913 ± 181 g (mean ± standard deviation). Weight gain was 24.8 ± 5.4 g/kg/day with length 0.99 ± 0.23 cm/week and head circumference 0.72 ± 0.14 cm/week. There were 3 medical NEC cases and 1 surgical NEC case. 22 infants (21%) were small for gestational age at birth. Overall, 45 infants (43%) had extrauterine growth restriction. Weight velocity was affected by day of fortification (p = 0.005) and day of full feeds (p = 0.02). Our cohort had significantly greater growth in weight and length compared to previous entirely human milk-fed cohorts.
A feeding protocol for infants ≤ 1250 g BW providing an exclusive human milk-based diet with early and rapid advancement of fortification leads to growth meeting targeted standards with a low rate of extrauterine growth restriction. Consistent nutritional policies using this approach may be considered for this population.
PMCID: PMC3879715  PMID: 24220185
Neonate; Growth; Nutrition; Human milk; Growth failure; Necrotizing enterocolitis
10.  Hepcidin is the major predictor of erythrocyte iron incorporation in anemic African children 
Blood  2012;119(8):1922-1928.
Iron supplementation strategies in the developing world remain controversial because of fears of exacerbating prevalent infectious diseases. Understanding the conditions in which iron will be absorbed and incorporated into erythrocytes is therefore important. We studied Gambian children with either postmalarial or nonmalarial anemia, who were given oral iron supplements daily for 30 days. Supplements administered on days 1 and 15 contained the stable iron isotopes 57Fe and 58Fe, respectively, and erythrocyte incorporation was measured in blood samples drawn 14 days later. We investigated how the iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin and other inflammatory/iron-related indices, all measured on the day of isotope administration, correlated with erythrocyte iron incorporation. In univariate analyses, hepcidin, ferritin, C-reactive protein, and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) strongly predicted incorporation of 57Fe given on day 1, while hepcidin, ferritin, and sTfR/log ferritin correlated with 58Fe incorporation. In a final multivariate model, the most consistent predictor of erythrocyte isotope incorporation was hepcidin. We conclude that under conditions of competing signals (anemia, iron deficiency, and infection), hepcidin powerfully controls use of dietary iron. We suggest that low-cost point-of-care hepcidin assays would aid iron supplementation programs in the developing world.
PMCID: PMC3351093  PMID: 22228627
11.  Low Zinc Status and Absorption Exist in Infants with Jejunostomies or Ileostomies Which Persists after Intestinal Repair 
Nutrients  2012;4(9):1273-1281.
There is very little data regarding trace mineral nutrition in infants with small intestinal ostomies. Here we evaluated 14 infants with jejunal or ileal ostomies to measure their zinc absorption and retention and biochemical zinc and copper status. Zinc absorption was measured using a dual-tracer stable isotope technique at two different time points when possible. The first study was conducted when the subject was receiving maximal tolerated feeds enterally while the ostomy remained in place. A second study was performed as soon as feasible after full feeds were achieved after intestinal repair. We found biochemical evidence of deficiencies of both zinc and copper in infants with small intestinal ostomies at both time points. Fractional zinc absorption with an ostomy in place was 10.9% ± 5.3%. After reanastamosis, fractional zinc absorption was 9.4% ± 5.7%. Net zinc balance was negative prior to reanastamosis. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that infants with a jejunostomy or ileostomy are at high risk for zinc and copper deficiency before and after intestinal reanastamosis. Additional supplementation, especially of zinc, should be considered during this time period.
PMCID: PMC3475237  PMID: 23112915
zinc; copper; ostomy; jejunostomy; ileostomy; nutrient absorption
12.  Total calcium absorption is similar from infant formulas with and without prebiotics and exceeds that in human milk-fed infants 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:118.
1) To evaluate calcium absorption in infants fed a formula containing prebiotics (PF) and one without prebiotics (CF). 2) To compare calcium absorption from these formulas with a group of human milk-fed (HM) infants.
A dual tracer stable isotope method was used to assess calcium absorption in infants exclusively fed CF (n = 30), PF (n = 25) or HM (n = 19). Analysis of variance was used to analyze calcium intake, fractional calcium absorption, and the amount of calcium absorbed.
Calcium intake (Mean ± SEM) for PF was 534 ± 17 mg/d and 557 ± 16 mg/d for CF (p = 0.33). Fractional calcium absorption was 56.8 ± 2.6 % for PF and 59.2 ± 2.3 % for CF (p = 0.49). Total calcium absorbed for PF was 300 ± 14 mg/d and 328 ± 13 mg/d for CF (p = 0.16). For HM infants calcium intake was 246 ± 20 mg/d, fractional calcium absorption was 76.0 ± 2.9 % and total calcium absorbed was 187 ± 16 mg/d (p <0.001, compared to either PF or CF).
Despite lower fractional calcium absorption of CF and PF compared to HM, higher calcium content in both led to higher total calcium absorption compared to HM infants. No significant effect of prebiotics was observed on calcium absorption or other markers of bone mineral metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3439330  PMID: 22871243
13.  Effects of ethnicity and vitamin D supplementation on vitamin D status and changes in bone mineral content in infants 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:6.
To evaluate the effects on serum 25(OH)D and bone mineralization of supplementation of breast-fed Hispanic and non-Hispanic Caucasian infants with vitamin D in infants in Houston, Texas.
We measured cord serum 25(OH)D levels, bone mineral content (BMC), bone mineral density (BMD) and their changes over 3 months of life with 400 IU/day of vitamin D3 supplementation.
Cord serum 25(OH)D was significantly lower in Hispanic than non-Hispanic Caucasian infants (16.4 ± 6.5 ng/mL, n = 27, vs 22.3 ± 9.4 n = 22, p = 0.013). Among 38 infants who completed a 3 month vitamin D supplementation intervention, provision of 400 IU/day of vitamin D increased final 25(OH)D to a higher level in non-Hispanic Caucasian compared to Hispanic infants. There was no significant relationship between cord serum 25(OH)D and BMC or BMD in the first week of life (n = 49) or after 3 months of vitamin D supplementation.
Low cord 25(OH)D levels are seen in Hispanic infants, but their functional significance is uncertain related to bone health in a southern US setting. Daily vitamin D intake of 400 IU during the first months of life appears adequate to increase serum 25(OH)D and support BMC increases despite low initial 25(OH)D levels in some infants.
Trial Registration NCT00697294
PMCID: PMC3271033  PMID: 22248486
breastfeeding; vitamin D; bone mineral content
14.  The 2011 Report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: What Clinicians Need to Know 
This article summarizes the new 2011 report on dietary requirements for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). An IOM Committee charged with determining the population needs for these nutrients in North America conducted a comprehensive review of the evidence for both skeletal and extraskeletal outcomes. The Committee concluded that available scientific evidence supports a key role of calcium and vitamin D in skeletal health, consistent with a cause-and-effect relationship and providing a sound basis for determination of intake requirements. For extraskeletal outcomes, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders, the evidence was inconsistent, inconclusive as to causality, and insufficient to inform nutritional requirements. Randomized clinical trial evidence for extraskeletal outcomes was limited and generally uninformative. Based on bone health, Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs; covering requirements of ≥97.5% of the population) for calcium range from 700 to 1300 mg/d for life-stage groups at least 1 yr of age. For vitamin D, RDAs of 600 IU/d for ages 1–70 yr and 800 IU/d for ages 71 yr and older, corresponding to a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of at least 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/liter), meet the requirements of at least 97.5% of the population. RDAs for vitamin D were derived based on conditions of minimal sun exposure due to wide variability in vitamin D synthesis from ultraviolet light and the risks of skin cancer. Higher values were not consistently associated with greater benefit, and for some outcomes U-shaped associations were observed, with risks at both low and high levels. The Committee concluded that the prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy in North America has been overestimated. Urgent research and clinical priorities were identified, including reassessment of laboratory ranges for 25-hydroxyvitamin D, to avoid problems of both undertreatment and overtreatment.
There is an urgent clinical and public health need for consensus cut-points for serum 25OHD inadequacy to avoid problems of both under- and overtreatment.
PMCID: PMC3046611  PMID: 21118827
15.  Vitamin D-mediated calcium absorption in patients with clinically stable Crohn’s disease: A pilot study 
Molecular nutrition & food research  2010;54(8):1085-1091.
Vitamin D is the critical hormone for intestinal absorption of calcium. Optimal calcium absorption is important for proper mineralization of bone in the prevention of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures, among other important functions. Diseases associated with gut inflammation, such as Crohn’s disease (CD), may impair calcium absorption. This pilot study evaluated vitamin D- dependent calcium absorption in subjects with CD. Male subjects with CD (n = 4) and healthy age-matched controls (n = 5) were studied. All subjects had fractional calcium absorption (FCA; by the dual calcium isotope method), serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, serum calcium and 24 h urinary calcium excretion measurements at baseline. The FCA in response to vitamin D therapy was re-assessed following administration of oral calcitriol 0.25 mcg twice daily for 1 wk, followed by oral calcitriol 0.50 mcg twice daily for 1 wk. Serum calcium and 24 h urinary calcium determinations were re-assessed after each increasing dose of calcitriol as safety measures. There was no significant difference in calcium FCA at baseline or after increasing doses of calcitriol between the CD and controls. FCA in the control and CD group was approximately 35% at baseline, which increased to 60% after calcitriol therapy. No subject developed hypercalcemia or hypercalciuria. Our results suggest that CD patients have a normal response to vitamin D in enhancing the efficacy of calcium absorption. This suggests that stable CD patients can follow calcium and vitamin D guidelines of non-CD adults. Other factors independent of vitamin D status may impair intestinal calcium absorption in CD, including the degree and location of inflammation, presence of surgical resection and/or use of glucocorticoids.
PMCID: PMC2950313  PMID: 20306476
Calcium; Crohn’s disease; Malabsorption; TNF-α; Vitamin D
16.  Fractional Absorption of Active Absorbable Algal Calcium (AAACa) and Calcium Carbonate Measured by a Dual Stable-Isotope Method 
Nutrients  2010;2(7):752-761.
With the use of stable isotopes, this study aimed to compare the bioavailability of active absorbable algal calcium (AAACa), obtained from oyster shell powder heated to a high temperature, with an additional heated seaweed component (Heated Algal Ingredient, HAI), with that of calcium carbonate. In 10 postmenopausal women volunteers aged 59 to 77 years (mean ± S.D., 67 ± 5.3), the fractional calcium absorption of AAACa and CaCO3 was measured by a dual stable isotope method. 44Ca-enriched CaCO3 and AAACa were administered in all subjects one month apart. After a fixed-menu breakfast and pre-test urine collection (Urine 0), 42Ca-enriched CaCl2 was intravenously injected, followed by oral administration of 44Ca-enriched CaCO3 without carrier 15 minutes later, and complete urine collection for the next 24 hours (Urine 24). The fractional calcium absorption was calculated as the ratio of Augmentation of 44Ca from Urine 0 to Urine 24/ augmentation of 42Ca from Urine 0 to Urine 24. Differences and changes of 44Ca and 42Ca were corrected by comparing each with 43Ca. Fractional absorption of AAACa (mean ± S.D., 23.1 ± 6.4), was distinctly and significantly higher than that of CaCO3 (14.7 ± 6.4; p = 0.0060 by paired t-test). The mean fractional absorption was approximately 1.57-times higher for AAACa than for CaCO3. The serum 25(OH) vitamin D level was low (mean ± S.D., 14.2 ± 4.95 ng/ml), as is common in this age group in Japan. Among the parameters of the bone and mineral metabolism measured, none displayed a significant correlation with the fractional absorption of CaCO3 and AAACa. Higher fractional absorption of AAACa compared with CaCO3 supports previous reports on the more beneficial effect of AAACa than CaCO3 for osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3257682  PMID: 22254052
active absorbable algal calcium (AAACa); calcium carbonate; dual stable Ca isotope method; fractional absorption (FA); parathyroid hormone (PTH)
17.  Calcium Absorption in Infants and Small Children: Methods of Determination and Recent Findings  
Nutrients  2010;2(4):474-480.
Determining calcium bioavailability is important in establishing dietary calcium requirements. In infants and small children, previously conducted mass balance studies have largely been replaced by stable isotope-based studies. The ability to assess calcium absorption using a relatively short 24-hour urine collection without the need for multiple blood samples or fecal collections is a major advantage to this technique. The results of these studies have demonstrated relatively small differences in calcium absorption efficiency between human milk and currently available cow milk-based infant formulas. In older children with a calcium intake typical of Western diets, calcium absorption is adequate to meet bone mineral accretion requirements.
PMCID: PMC3257657  PMID: 22254034
calcium absorption; infant nutrition; bone mineral content
18.  Continuous Feedings of Fortified Human Milk Lead to Nutrient Losses of Fat, Calcium and Phosphorous 
Nutrients  2010;2(3):230-240.
Substantial losses of nutrients may occur during tube (gavage) feeding of fortified human milk. Our objective was to compare the losses of key macronutrients and minerals based on method of fortification and gavage feeding method. We used clinically available gavage feeding systems and measured pre- and post-feeding (end-point) nutrient content of calcium (Ca), phosphorus (Phos), protein, and fat. Comparisons were made between continuous, gravity bolus, and 30-minute infusion pump feeding systems, as well as human milk fortified with donor human milk-based and bovine milk-based human milk fortifier using an in vitro model. Feeding method was significantly associated with fat and Ca losses, with increased losses in continuous feeds. Fat losses in continuous feeds were substantial, with 40 ± 3 % of initial fat lost during the feeding process. After correction for feeding method, human milk fortified with donor milk-based fortifier was associated with significantly less loss of Ca (8 ± 4% vs. 28 ± 4%, p< 0.001), Phos (3 ± 4% vs. 24 ± 4%, p < 0.001), and fat (17 ± 2% vs. 25 ± 2%, p = 0.001) than human milk fortified with a bovine milk-based fortifier (Mean ± SEM).
PMCID: PMC3257649  PMID: 22254018
calcium; phosphorous; neonates; enteral nutrition; lipids; protein
19.  High frequencies of elevated alkaline phosphatase activity and rickets exist in extremely low birth weight infants despite current nutritional support 
BMC Pediatrics  2009;9:47.
Osteopenia and rickets are common among extremely low birth weight infants (ELBW, <1000 g birth weight) despite current practices of vitamin and mineral supplementation. Few data are available evaluating the usual course of markers of mineral status in this population. Our objectives in this study were to determine the relationship between birth weight (BW) and peak serum alkaline phosphatase activity (P-APA) in ELBW infants and evaluate our experience with the diagnosis of rickets in these infants.
We evaluated all ELBW infants admitted to Texas Children's Hospital NICU in 2006 and 2007. Of 211 admissions, we excluded 98 patients who were admitted at >30 days of age or did not survive/stay for >6 weeks. Bone radiographs obtained in 32 infants were reviewed by a radiologist masked to laboratory values.
In this cohort of 113 infants, P-APA was found to have a significant inverse relationship with BW, gestational age and serum phosphorus. In paired comparisons, P-APA of infants <600 g (957 ± 346 IU/L, n = 20) and infants 600–800 g (808 ± 323 IU/L, n = 43) were both significantly higher than P-APA of infants 800–1000 g (615 ± 252 IU/L, n = 50), p < 0.01. Thirty-two patients had radiographic evaluation for evidence of rickets, based on P-APA greater than 800 IU/L, parenteral nutrition greater than 3 to 4 weeks, or clinical suspicion. Of these, 18 showed radiologic rickets and 14 showed osteopenia without rickets. Infants with BW <600 g were more likely to have radiologic rickets (10/20 infants) compared to those with BW 600–800 g (6/43 infants) and BW 800–1000 g (2/50 infants), p < 0.01 for each. P-APA was not significantly higher in infants with radiologic rickets (1078 ± 356 IU/L) compared to those without radiologic evidence of rickets (943 ± 346, p = 0.18).
Elevation of P-APA >600 IU/L was very common in ELBW infants. BW was significantly inversely related to both P-APA and radiologic rickets. No single value of P-APA was related to radiological findings of rickets. Given the very high risk of osteopenia and rickets among ELBW infants, we recommend consideration of early screening and early mineral supplementation, especially among infants <600 g BW.
PMCID: PMC2729734  PMID: 19640269
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2006;1773(8):1263-1284.
Growth factors and mitogens use the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling cascade to transmit signals from their receptors to regulate gene expression and prevent apoptosis. Some components of these pathways are mutated or aberrantly expressed in human cancer (e.g., Ras, B-Raf). Mutations also occur at genes encoding upstream receptors (e.g., EGFR and Flt-3) and chimeric chromosomal translocations (e.g., BCR-ABL) which transmit their signals through these cascades. Even in the absence of obvious genetic mutations, this pathway has been reported to be activated in over 50% of acute myelogenous leukemia and acute lymphocytic leukemia and is also frequently activated in other cancer types (e.g., breast and prostate cancers). Importantly, this increased expression is associated with a poor prognosis. The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK and Ras/PI3K/PTEN/Akt pathways interact with each other to regulate growth and in some cases tumorigenesis. For example, in some cells, PTEN mutation may contribute to suppression of the Raf/MEK/ERK cascade due to the ability of activated Akt to phosphorylate and inactivate different Rafs. Although both of these pathways are commonly thought to have anti-apoptotic and drug resistance effects on cells, they display different cell lineage specific effects. For example, Raf/MEK/ERK is usually associated with proliferation and drug resistance of hematopoietic cells, while activation of the Raf/MEK/ERK cascade is suppressed in some prostate cancer cell lines which have mutations at PTEN and express high levels of activated Akt. Furthermore the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK and Ras/PI3K/PTEN/Akt pathways also interact with the p53 pathway. Some of these interactions can result in controlling the activity and subcellular localization of Bim, Bak, Bax, Puma and Noxa. Raf/MEK/ERK may promote cell cycle arrest in prostate cells and this may be regulated by p53 as restoration of wild-type p53 in p53 deficient prostate cancer cells results in their enhanced sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs and increased expression of Raf/MEK/ERK pathway. Thus in advanced prostate cancer, it may be advantageous to induce Raf/MEK/ERK expression to promote cell cycle arrest, while in hematopoietic cancers it may be beneficial to inhibit Raf/MEK/ERK induced proliferation and drug resistance. Thus the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway has different effects on growth, prevention of apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and induction of drug resistance in cells of various lineages which may be due to the presence of functional p53 and PTEN and the expression of lineage specific factors.
PMCID: PMC2696318  PMID: 17126425
Raf/MEK/ERK; Signaling; Apoptosis; Drug Resistance; PI3K/Akt; Cancer Therapy
22.  Iron Incorporation and Post-Malaria Anaemia 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(5):e2133.
Iron supplementation is employed to treat post-malarial anaemia in environments where iron deficiency is common. Malaria induces an intense inflammatory reaction that stalls reticulo-endothelial macrophagal iron recycling from haemolysed red blood cells and inhibits oral iron absorption, but the magnitude and duration of these effects are unclear.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We examined the red blood cell incorporation of oral administered stable isotopes of iron and compared incorporation between age matched 18 to 36 months old children with either anaemia post-malaria (n = 37) or presumed iron deficiency anaemia alone (n = 36). All children were supplemented for 30 days with 2 mg/kg elemental iron as liquid iron sulphate and administered 57Fe and 58Fe on days 1 and 15 of supplementation respectively. 57Fe and58Fe incorporation were significantly reduced (8% vs. 28%: p<0.001 and 14% vs. 26%: p = 0.045) in the malaria vs. non-malaria groups. There was a significantly greater haemoglobin response in the malaria group at both day 15 (p = 0.001) and 30 (p<0.000) with a regression analysis estimated greater change in haemoglobin of 7.2 g/l (s.e. 2.0) and 10.1 g/l (s.e. 2.5) respectively.
Post-malaria anaemia is associated with a better haemoglobin recovery despite a significant depressant effect on oral iron incorporation which may indicate that early erythropoetic iron need is met by iron recycling rather than oral iron. Supplemental iron administration is of questionable utility within 2 weeks of clinical malaria in children with mild or moderate anaemia.
PMCID: PMC2330157  PMID: 18461143
23.  Relationships among Vitamin D Levels, Parathyroid Hormone, and Calcium Absorption in Young Adolescents 
Evidence suggests that vitamin D status in adults, as assessed by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD), is positively associated with calcium absorption fraction and inversely associated with serum PTH. Few comparable pediatric data exist.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationships among vitamin D status, PTH, and calcium absorption in mid-pubertal boys and girls.
Calcium absorption was measured as part of an evaluation of the effects of prebiotics (inulin-type fructans) using a stable isotope method in 93 young adolescents, 12.7 ± 1.0 yr of age, receiving diets averaging approximately 900 mg/d calcium.
A significant positive relation to calcium absorption was found for serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(P = 0.048) and PTH(P = 0.007), but not for 25-OHD (P = 0.77). PTH was significantly inversely related to 25-OHD and was positively related to serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and osteocalcin. PTH was marginally significantly inversely related to lumbar spinal, but not whole body, bone mineral density.
These data suggest that in adolescents, especially in the presence of vitamin D insufficiency, PTH secretion increases to adapt to higher rates of bone formation associated with growth. This results in higher serum 1,25(OH)2D concentrations and increased calcium absorption results. Vitamin D status, as reflected by the serum 25-OHD level, is not closely related to calcium absorption. Whether adaptation to low serum 25-OHD is adequate under physiologically stressful situations, including those leading to very low serum 25-OHD levels, is unknown.
PMCID: PMC1283091  PMID: 16076940
BMC, Bone mineral content; BMD, bone mineral density; CI, confidence interval; ITF, inulin-type fructan; 25-OHD, 25-hydroxyvitamin D; 1,25-(OH)2D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D

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