Randomized trial of taurine supplementation for infants less than or equal to 1,300-gram birth weight: effect on auditory brainstem-evoked responses

Pediatrics. 1989 Mar;83(3):406-15.


Taurine may be important to the developing eye and brain of the small preterm infant. A blinded randomized trial was conducted to determine whether taurine supplementation of healthy infants of less than or equal to 1,300 g birth weight until their discharge from the hospital increases their growth rate, neurobehavioral development, electroretinographic development, or maturation of auditory brainstem-evoked responses. Infants were fed with Similac Special Care as desired, which was prepared to contain less than 5 mg/L of taurine or 45 mg/L of taurine, a concentration similar to that of human milk. Infants who did not receive taurine supplementation (n = 19) and those who did (n = 18) were similar with respect to condition at study entry, caloric intake, and growth rates throughout the study, and electroretinographic findings and scores on the Brazelton Behavioral Assessment Scale at 37 weeks' postmenstrual age. Infants who received taurine supplementation had greater overall plasma taurine concentrations. The group receiving taurine supplementation also had more mature auditory-evoked responses at 37 weeks' postmenstrual age with a modest (0.2 to 0.5 ms) but consistent reduction (P less than .05) in the interval between stimulus and response at two different stimulation rates. Although further study is needed, taurine intake appears to influence auditory system maturation of preterm infants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Brain Stem / drug effects*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / drug effects*
  • Food, Formulated*
  • Humans
  • Infant Food*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Random Allocation
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Taurine / administration & dosage*
  • Taurine / blood


  • Amino Acids
  • Taurine