Intervention and Mechanisms of Alanyl-glutamine for Inflammation, Nutrition, and Enteropathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

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Emergency Medicine

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Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition


OBJECTIVE: Determine the minimum dosage of alanyl-glutamine (Ala-Gln) required to improve gut integrity and growth in children at risk of environmental enteropathy (EE).

METHODS: This was a double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled dose-response trial. We enrolled 140 children residing in a low-income community in Fortaleza, Brazil. Participants were 2 to 60 months old and had weight-for-age (WAZ), height-for-age (HAZ), or weight-for-height (WHZ) z-scores less than -1. We randomized children to 10 days of nutritional supplementation: Ala-Gln at 3 g/day, Ala-Gln at 6 g/day, Ala-Gln at 12 g/day, or an isonitrogenous dose of glycine (Gly) placebo at 12.5 g/day. Our primary outcome was urinary lactulose-mannitol excretion testing. Secondary outcomes were anthropometry, fecal markers of inflammation, urine metabolic profiles, and malabsorption (spot fecal energy).

RESULTS: Of 140 children, 103 completed 120 days of follow-up (24% dropout). In the group receiving the highest dose of Ala-Gln, we detected a modest improvement in urinary lactulose excretion from 0.19% on day 1 to 0.17% on day 10 (P = 0.05). We observed significant but transient improvements in WHZ at day 10 in 2 Ala-Gln groups, and in WHZ and WAZ in all Ala-Gln groups at day 30. We detected no effects on fecal inflammatory markers, diarrheal morbidity, or urine metabolic profiles; but did observe modest reductions in fecal energy and fecal lactoferrin in participants receiving Ala-Gln.

CONCLUSIONS: Intermediate dose Ala-Gln promotes short-term improvement in gut integrity and ponderal growth in children at risk of EE. Lower doses produced improvements in ponderal growth in the absence of enhanced gut integrity.



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