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Neonatal diuretic therapy may not alter Childrens preference for salt taste.

Year 1998
Leshem M. Maroun M. Weintraub Z.
Psychology Department, Haifa University, Israel.
Human neonates are occasionally treated with diuretics, and we investigated whether this causes a long-term enhancement of salt preference. Salt preference was examined in children aged 4-11 years. Twenty one of the children had received furosemide therapy as preterm neonates, and 24 were preterm neonates from the same ward that had no furosemide therapy. No differences were found between the two groups in preferred concentration of NaCl in soup, in consumption of salty items, and in blood and urine sodium and creatinine. However, in a tested subsample, fractional excretion of sodium (FENa) was higher in the neonatally treated children, suggesting increased salt intake. Reported severity of morning sickness in the mother when pregnant with the child, the child's history of diarrhoea and vomiting and degree of dietary salt exposure were obtained by questionnaire. These variables also did not influence salt preference, or blood and urine sodium and creatinine, except for a correlation between dietary salt exposure and blood sodium concentration. We conclude that while the physiological evidence suggests increased salt intake in children treated neonatally with furosemide, more sensitive tests of salt preference at this age are required to reveal any influence early mineralofluid loss may have on salt preference in childhood.

Infant salt preference and mothers morning sickness.

Year 1998
Crystal SR. Bernstein IL.
Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.
Evidence for an association between early pregnancy sickness and offspring salt (NaCl) preference has been obtained from studying offspring as young adults. To determine whether effects on NaCl preference are expressed in infancy, the present study examined 16-week-old infants whose mothers reported either little or no vomiting (N = 15) or frequent moderate to severe vomiting (N = 14) during the first 14 weeks of their pregnancy. The infants' oral-motor facial reactions to each solution and their relative intakes of distilled water and 0.1m and 0.2m NaCl were used as measures of preference. Infants of mothers who reported no or mild symptoms had a significantly lower relative intake of salt solutions than infants whose mothers reported moderate to severe symptoms (p < 0.01). The former infants also showed a greater number of aversive facial responses when given 0.2m NaCl (p < 0.05). Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that maternal dehydration, induced by moderate to severe vomiting during pregnancy, can lead to enhanced salt preference in offspring. They also provide a potential explanation for some of the variability encountered when human infants are tested for their salt preference.

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