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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


AGUILAR CORDERO, María José et al. Effect of nutrition on growth and neurodevelopment in the preterm infant: a systematic review. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.2, pp.716-729. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: The energy needs of preterm infants are high and more so when the body weight is lower; for this reason, and to safeguard the infant’s future development, it is important to ensure an optimal caloric intake is obtained. Aim: To analyse leading research papers related to nutrition in the preterm newborn and its effects on growth and development. Method: Systematic review of relevant studies, based on the application of a search strategy, from March to September 2014. The literature search was conducted using document analysis and information synthesis to classify and compile the information extracted, followed by a comparative evaluation. The validity of the articles obtained was corroborated by the weight of findings obtained, by the citations received by the articles and by their applicability to our healthcare environment. Results: The search process produced 61 studies that met the selection criteria. The research question addressed has been widely examined and many studies have reported findings related to the nutrition of preterm infants. The direct relationship between nutritional intake and the growth rate of preterm infants is well documented. Conclusions: Proper nutrition in the preterm infant has positive effects on its growth and neurodevelopment. It has been reported that a greater intake of proteins and lipids favours the growth of preterm infants, but not weight gain. Studies have demonstrated the beneficial effect of breast milk on the brain, the retina and the blood vessels; however, there is a negative correlation between adiposity and brain volume.

Keywords : Preterm; Nutrition; Breastfeeding; Growth; Neurodevelopment.

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