The effect of feeding four different formulae on stool weights in prolonged dehydrating infantile gastroenteritis

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1988 Mar-Apr;7(2):203-7. doi: 10.1097/00005176-198803000-00008.


Prolonged diarrhea following an acute episode of dehydrating gastroenteritis in infants is often treated by the empirical removal of both cow's milk protein and lactose from the feed, as they both have been implicated in the prolongation of diarrhea. In order to assess the efficacy of this policy and to determine whether there are any advantages in using a lactose-free semi-elemental feed in this situation, infants with prolonged dehydrating gastroenteritis from a developing community in South Africa were studied. Male black children between the ages of 6 weeks and 2 years with prolonged dehydrating gastroenteritis (requiring intravenous fluids for longer than 72 h to maintain hydration) were randomly assigned to receive one of four feeds if the stool weight was greater than 30 g/kg body weight/24 h on the fourth day of admission. The four formula feeds were a partially modified cow's milk formula; a lactose-free, casein-containing formula; a lactose-free, soy-protein-containing formula; and a lactose-free, whey-hydrolysate-containing formula. Stool weights were measured for the following 3 days. Seventy-two children were enrolled into the study. Stool weights were similar in the four groups at the start of the trial, and fell significantly over the trial period in those groups receiving the lactose-free feeds. Mean stool weight in the cow's milk formula group did not change. Thus, it appears that the continued feeding of a cow's milk-based lactose-containing formulae to infants with prolonged dehydrating gastroenteritis adversely affects their recovery.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dehydration / therapy
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / therapy*
  • Feces
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Gastroenteritis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food*
  • Male
  • Milk
  • Polysaccharides
  • Protein Hydrolysates
  • Time Factors
  • Triglycerides


  • Polysaccharides
  • Protein Hydrolysates
  • Triglycerides
  • alfare