Serum zinc, copper, and selenium concentrations in preterm infants receiving enteral nutrition or parenteral nutrition supplemented with zinc and copper
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Fifteen enterally fed preterm infants not receiving additional trace element supplements and 22 preterm infants receiving total or partial parenteral nutrition supplemented with zinc at 350 micrograms/kg/day and copper at 20 micrograms/kg/day were examined 1, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after birth. Mean serum Zn concentrations in the parenteral group remained relatively constant and were significantly higher (P less than 0.01) at day 21 than the value for the enteral group. In contrast, a significant decline in mean serum Zn concentrations occurred between days 1 and 21 in the enteral group. The mean serum Cu concentrations in the parenteral group rose during the first week, and were significantly higher at days 14 and 21 than corresponding values in the enteral group. This trend did not result from copper supplementation alone but was also attributed to the presence of ceruloplasmin in blood transfusions. Mean serum Se concentrations did not change significantly, either between or within the two groups, except during the first week, at which time levels rose in the parenteral group. The addition of Zn, Cu, and probably of Se to parenteral infusates, allows the maintenance of appropriate serum values.
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