A randomized controlled trial on the use of virgin coconut oil in augmenting weight gain among infants weighing 1500 grams or less; preliminary results.

Dr. Florentino B. Herrera, Jr. Medical Library

Philippine Journal of Pediatrics. 2005 Oct-Dec 54(4):223-229.

Amante-Aurelio, MR, Mantaring, JBV, III.

Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is used to augment weight gain of low birth weight infants. However, it is commercially unavailable. Coconut oil contains the most concentrated, natural source of MCT and lauric acid which provides antibacterial properties. The primary objective is to determine if neonates weighing /=1500 g given virgin coconut oil (VCO) will have better weight gain compared to neonates without such supplementation. This study is a triple-blind, randomized controlled trial. Neonatal intensive care unit of a tertiary government hospital. Neonates with birth weight /=1500 g; able to tolerate at least 50 ml/kg/day of enteral feedings, and with informed consent were included. Subjects were randomized into either treatment or control group. Both groups received preterm formula or breastmilk. VCO was added at 0.5 ml/oz to the feedings of the treatment group. The outcomes were analyzed by intention to treat. A p-value 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The difference in weight gain, duration of intervention, the occurrence of feeding intolerance and sepsis were among those measured. Ninety neonates (46 in the treatment group, 44 in the control group) were included. The baseline characteristics had no statistical difference except for birth head circumference (p=0.04) and entry mid-upper arm circumference (p=0.03) which were both hither in the treatment group. There was trend towards higher weight gain per day (27.1 ± 16.8 vs. 22.1 ± 17.1, p=0.666) and other growth parameters, and shorter duration of intervention in the treatment group. There were fewer adverse events in the treatment group. Sepsis was lower in the treatment group, and this was statistically significant (p=0.008). This interim analysis shows a trend towards an increase in weight gain and other growth parameters among those whose feedings were augmented with VCO. The occurrence of feeding intolerance and sepsis were also lower in the treatment group. The reach statistical power, the study is ongoing. (Auth)

Language: English

Subject: sepsis—birth weight—weight gain