Eighty low birthweight infants (1500 to 2500 g) were randomly assigned to a group given oral agar and a control group. The study was first performed in 24 agar-fed babies and 24 control babies. The treated infants received a daily total amount of 600 mg/kg of agar beginning at 12 hours of age, for 7 days. In the later stage of the trial, 16 agar-fed babies and 16 control babies were investigated. The total daily amount of agar was raised to 700 mg/kg, beginning at 6 hours of age for 7 days. No complications were observed with the administration of agar. Serum bilirubin levels were not significantly lower in the agar-fed infants. We conclude that agar supplemented feeding is not indicated in the management of hyperbilirubinaemia in low birthweight newborn infants.
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