Evaluation of infant feeding in acute gastroenteritis

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1989 Feb;8(2):240-4. doi: 10.1097/00005176-198902000-00019.


Sixty-eight bottle-fed babies under 9 months of age with mild acute gastroenteritis were observed to evaluate current feeding regimens following acute gastroenteritis in infancy. All babies were fed for 24 h with a glucose-electrolyte mixture (GEM) and then randomly assigned to either a gradual reintroduction to their normal milk, i.e., slow regrade; immediate return to full-strength formula; or a rapid regrade to a hypoallergenic whey hydrolysate formula. All groups were well matched for age, sex, ethnic origin, nutritional state, and degree of hydration. There was no significance difference in stool frequency or reducing substances, vomiting, and duration of hospital stay between the three groups. Many infants (6/24) refused to take the whey hydrolysate formula, presumably because of unpalatability. Weight gain was more rapid when full-strength milk was given. Clinical relapse developed in 12 (17%) of patients. An enteric pathogen was detected in eight of this group and cow's milk protein intolerance in three (one from each feeding group). No infant had clinically significant lactose intolerance, in marked contrast to previous experience at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. In this group of previously healthy, well-nourished babies with mild acute gastroenteritis, there was no advantage in regrading slowly to milk or a hypoallergenic formula. An immediate return to normal formula 24 h after GEM feeding was well tolerated and simpler for parents.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Food, Formulated*
  • Gastroenteritis / diet therapy*
  • Glucose / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Milk*


  • Glucose