Breast vs bottle: endocrine responses are different with formula feeding

Lancet. 1980 Jun 14;1(8181):1267-9. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(80)91731-6.


Differences in pancreatic and gut-hormone release between breast-fed and bottle-fed infants have not been documented although these hormones may play a key role in postnatal adaptation. In a study of 77 six-day-old healthy term infants, bottle-fed neonates ('Cow and Gate Premium') had significant changes in plasma-concentrations of insulin, motilin, enteroglucagon, neurotensin, and pancreatic polypeptide after feeding, whereas in breast-fed infants these changes were reduced or absent. Basal levels of gastric inhibitory polypeptide, motilin, neurotensin, and vasoactive intestinal peptide were also higher in the bottle-fed infants than in those who were breast-fed. These findings may partly explain differences in the deposition of subcutaneous fat and in stool frequency between breast-fed and bottle-fed neonates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bottle Feeding*
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neurotensin / blood
  • Pancreatic Hormones / blood*


  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Pancreatic Hormones
  • Neurotensin