The development of the effects of a human milk feed on plasma concentrations of motilin, neurotensin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide, enteroglucagon, gastrin, and secretin were studied in 158 healthy preterm neonates (mean gestation 33 1/2 weeks) at mean postnatal ages of 2 1/2, 6, 13, or 24 days. Pronounced progressive changes occurred in postprandial hormone responses; these were absent or small in the first days of life and were large by age 24 days. These changes may have important consequences in the adaptation to postnatal life.
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