Growth factor in baby formula could reduce necrotizing enterocolitis, most devastating GI disease in preemies:
Growth factor in baby formula could reduce necrotizing enterocolitis, most devastating GI disease in preemies
03 Apr 2005
Medical News Today
"Could it be that the most widespread and devastating gastrointestinal disease affecting premature babies could be conquered simply by adding a common polypeptide, epidermal growth factor (EGF), to infant formula? And if so, exactly how does it work, and why? Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) affects some 10,000 infants annually in the U.S., and over 90% are formula-fed before onset of NEC. At greatest risk are small, premature infants, and infants fed concentrated formulas. Estimates of mortality vary widely, up to 40%. International rates of incidence and mortality are thought to be similar. Although there is no effective treatment, the incidence of NEC among formula-fed babies is estimated at six to 10 times higher than breast-fed babies, indicating important direct benefits of mother's milk..."