U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Minimal Enteral Nutrition to Improve Adaptation After Intestinal Resection in Piglets and Infants

Lise Aunsholt, Niels Qvist, Per T. Sangild, Andreas Vegge, Barbara Stoll, Douglas G. Burrin, Palle Bekker Jeppesen, Thomas Eriksen, Steffen Husby, Thomas Thymann
Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 2017 v.22 no.10 pp. 1-8
absorption, cow colostrum, digestive system, digestive system diseases, enteral feeding, growth factors, infants, milk allergy, parenteral feeding, patients, piglets, protein synthesis, resection, villi
Background: Minimal enteral nutrition (MEN) may induce a diet-dependent stimulation of gut adaptation following intestinal resection. Bovine colostrum is rich in growth factors, and we hypothesized that MEN with colostrum would stimulate intestinal adaptation, compared with formula, and would be well tolerated in patients with short bowel syndrome. Methods: In experiment 1, 3-day-old piglets with 50% distal small intestinal resection were fed parenteral nutrition (PN, n = 10) or PN plus MEN given as either colostrum (PN-COL, n = 5) or formula (PN-FORM, n = 9) for 7 days. Intestinal nutrient absorption and histomorphometry were performed. In experiment 2, tolerance and feasibility of colostrum supplementation were tested in a pilot study on 5 infants who had undergone intestinal resection, and they were compared with 5 resected infants who served as controls. Results: In experiment 1, relative wet-weight absorption and intestinal villus height were higher in PN-COL vs PN (53% vs 23% and 362 ± 13 vs 329 ± 7 µm, P < .05). Crypt depth and tissue protein synthesis were higher in PN-COL (233 ± 7 µm, 22%/d) and PN-FORM (262 ± 13 µm, 22%/d) vs PN (190 ± 4 µm, 9%/d, both P < .05). In experiment 2, enteral colostrum supplementation was well tolerated, and no infants developed clinical signs of cow’s milk allergy. Conclusion: Minimal enteral nutrition feeding with bovine colostrum and formula induced similar intestinal adaptation after resection in piglets. Colostrum was well tolerated by newly resected infants, but the clinical indication for colostrum supplementation to infants subjected to intestinal resection remains to be determined.