Role of taurine in feeding the low-birth-weight infant

J Pediatr. 1984 Jun;104(6):936-40. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(84)80503-x.


Plasma and urinary taurine concentrations, growth, nitrogen balance, duodenal bile salt concentration and pattern, fecal bile acid excretion, and intestinal fat absorption were determined in appropriate for gestational age low-birth-weight infants fed either a whey-predominant cow milk formula or the same formula supplemented with taurine (45 mumol/kg/day). Mean plasma taurine concentration in the two groups did not differ. Mean urinary taurine concentration in the control and supplemented groups over the entire study period were 2.67 +/- 0.69 and 12.41 +/- 5.20 mumol/dl, respectively (P less than 0.05). Urinary taurine concentration in the supplemented infants, however, decreased significantly during the study period. Neither growth nor nitrogen retention differed between the two groups. Mean duodenal concentrations of taurine as well as glycine conjugates of both cholate and chenodeoxycholate were higher in supplemented infants. Total duodenal bile salt concentration correlated positively with taurine status as reflected by urinary taurine excretion (r = 0.71); this correlation plus the lower duodenal cholesterol concentration in supplemented infants suggests that conversion of cholesterol to bile acids was greater in supplemented infants. Mean intestinal fat absorption in control and supplemented infants, however, did not differ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / analysis
  • Bile Acids and Salts / urine
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infant Food* / standards
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Taurine / analysis
  • Taurine / metabolism*
  • Taurine / urine


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Taurine
  • Cholesterol