The Impacts of Varying Protein and Energy Intakes on the Growth of Neonates with Very Low Birth Weight : An Experimental Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

2 Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, Clinical Research and Development of Kamali Hospital Center, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

3 Clinical Research and Development of Kamali Hospital Center, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

4 Medical student, School of medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

5 School of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran



Background: Studies have indicated contradictory results concerning the impact of protein-based diets on very low birth weight neonates. Hence, this study explored the impacts of various calorie and protein diets on the growth of very low birth weight neonate during 15 days.
Methods: This study was carried out on 44 neonates with very low birth weight, selected regarding the inclusion criteria. They were assigned into two clusters based on their birth weight. Each cluster included a control group receiving the standard diet formula, and an experimental group with neonates weighing 1000-1500gr who followed a high-energy diet with 4gr protein and those weighing less than 1000gr who received a high-energy diet with 4.2gr protein. Finally, the neonates' weight, height, and head circumference were measured every 3 days for 15 days.
Results: According to the findings, the mean weight of  the neonates who weighed between 1000 and 1500gr was higher in the intervention group from the third day after initiating the diet, though no significant difference was observed. Similarly, the mean weight of intervention group in the second cluster was higher than the neonates in the control group from the third day with a statistically significant difference on the 15th day. Moreover, no significant difference was found in other measurements between groups.
Conclusion: The results demonstrated the effect of a higher weight of protein intake group on the 15th day. Hence, it recommends providing higher protein intake formula to lower infant birth weight for better growth.


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