Pasteurization of mother's own milk reduces fat absorption and growth in preterm infants

Acta Paediatr. 2007 Oct;96(10):1445-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2007.00450.x. Epub 2007 Aug 20.


Aim: A randomized study was conducted to evaluate whether pasteurized milk (Holder pasteurization 62.5 degrees C, 30 min) reduces fat absorption and growth in preterm infants.

Methods: Preterm infants (825-1325 g) born with gestational age < or =30 weeks were randomized into two groups, of which one started with pasteurized own mother's milk for 1 week and continued with raw milk the following week, and a second group was fed in reverse order. By using this design the infants served as their own controls. At the end of each week, a 72-h fat balance was performed and growth was monitored.

Results: We found, on an average, 17% higher fat absorption with raw as compared to pasteurized milk. Infants gained more weight and linear growth assessed as knee-heel length was also greater during the week they were fed raw milk as compared to the week they were fed pasteurized milk.

Conclusion: Feeding preterm infants pasteurized as compared to raw own mother's milk reduced fat absorption. When the infants were fed raw milk, they gained more in knee-heel length compared to when they were fed pasteurized milk.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism*
  • Disinfection*
  • Female
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food*
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Weight Gain


  • Dietary Fats