Glutamine supplement with parenteral nutrition decreases whole body proteolysis in low birth weight infants

Satish C. Kalhan, Prabhu S. Parimi, Lourdes L. Gruca, Richard W. Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the effect of supplemental glutamine (0.6 -1.d-1) on whole body protein/nitrogen and glutamine kinetics in low birth weight (LBW) infants receiving parenteral nutrition in the immediate neonatal period. Study design: Premature infants ≤32 weeks gestation with a birth weight from 694 to 1590 g were randomly assigned to either a glutamine-supplemented group (n = 10) or to a control group (n = 10). Tracer isotope studies were performed when the infants were 6 to 7 days old and had been receiving an amino acid intake of approximately 3.0 -1.d-1 for at least 3 days. Whole body glutamine and nitrogen kinetics were measured with [5-15N]glutamine, [ 2H5]phenylalanine, [1-13C, 15N] leucine, [15N2]urea, and GC-mass spectrometry. Results: Supplemental glutamine was associated with a lower rate of appearance of glutamine (P = .003), phenylalanine (P = .001), and leucine C (P = .003). There was no significant difference in leucine N turnover, urea turnover and plasma cortisol, and C-reactive protein levels in the 2 groups. Conclusion: Parenteral glutamine supplement in LBW infants was associated with lower whole-body protein breakdown. Because the decrease in whole body proteolysis is associated with protein accretion, parenteral glutamine supplement may be beneficial in selected populations of LBW infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-647
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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