Breast-milk-enhanced intestinal and somatic growth in neonatal rats

Biol Neonate. 1987;51(1):53-9. doi: 10.1159/000242631.


Ten rat pups fed pooled rat milk and 9 pups fed artificial formula had significantly heavier stomachs and intestines that contained more DNA and RNA by 40 h of age than 12 pups sacrificed at birth. Breast-milk-fed animals had significantly heavier intestines, livers and kidneys than animals fed artificial formula. The intestines of pups fed breast milk contained more DNA and RNA with a lower RNA:DNA ratio than the intestines of pups fed artificial formula. Hence, when caloric intake and mode of feeding are controlled, natural milk enhances neonatal intestinal growth more than artificial formula.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / growth & development*
  • Animals, Newborn / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Digestive System / growth & development*
  • Digestive System / metabolism
  • Infant Food
  • Liver / growth & development
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Milk / physiology*
  • Nucleic Acids / metabolism
  • Organ Size
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Nucleic Acids
  • Proteins