Objective. Previous studies have shown increased stool output when children with persistent diarrhea (PD) received milk as the predominant source of nutrition.
Methods. We evaluated the efficacy of milk given in modest amounts as a part of a mixed diet in children with PD. One hundred sixteen children 3 to 24 months of age with diarrhea for between 14 days and 12 weeks were allocated to milk-based (n = 60) or milk-free (n = 56) cereal dietary regimens. The two diets were isocaloric (86.9 calories/100 g for ≤9 months; 95.6 cal/100 g for > 9 months) consisting of puffed rice cereal, sugar, and oil differing in only their source of protein, which was either milk or egg white, respectively. An average of 30% of the calories were constituted by milk in the milk-cereal diet. Both diets were offered at the rate of 150 kcal/kg per day. Children receiving milk-cereal consumed an average of 1.9 g/kg lactose per day.
Results. The baseline characteristics in the two groups were similar. Comparable amounts of diet were consumed in both groups. The milk-cereal group did not have higher median (range) stool output (g/kg/h) compared with the milk-free group during a 0- to 48-hour (milk-cereal, 1.7 [0.2 to 8.7]; milk-free, 1.5 [0.1 to 6.6]) or 0- to 120-hour (milk-cereal, 1.6 [0.4 to 7.2]; milk-free, 1.3 [0.1 to 7.6]) period. The percentage of weight gain was similar in the two groups, and there were no significant differences in the duration of diarrhea. Overall, 23 children had treatment failures, 10 (17%) in the milk-cereal and 13 (23.6%) in the milk-free groups.
Conclusions. Our findings suggest that modest intakes of milk are well tolerated as a part of mixed diet during PD.
- Received November 10, 1995.
- Accepted February 20, 1996.
- Copyright © 1996 by the American Academy of Pediatrics