Abstract Title:

Breastfeeding attenuates reductions in energy intake induced by a mild immunologic stimulus represented by DPTH immunization: possible roles of interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and leptin.

Abstract Source:

J Nutr. 2002 Jun;132(6):1293-8. PMID: 12042449

Abstract Author(s):

Mardya López-Alarcón, Cutberto Garza, Jean-Pierre Habicht, Lourdes Martínez, Virginia Pegueros, Salvador Villalpando

Article Affiliation:

Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.


An attenuated severity of infections is among the well-documented benefits of breast-feeding. The degree to which this attenuated severity extends to the amelioration of anorexia is understood incompletely, and possible underlying mechanisms have received limited evaluation. This study was designed to test whether breast-feeding attenuates reductions in energy intake associated with a mild immunologic stimulus and to assess poststimulus relationships among putative reductions in energy intake and serum interleukin (IL)-1beta, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and leptin concentrations. A quasi-experimental, hospital-based study was conducted in 23 healthy fully breast- (BF) and formula-fed (FF) infants who received the quadruple diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and hemophilus influenza (DPTH) immunization as an immunologic challenge. Only FF infants had decreased energy intakes (12 +/- 2%, P = 0.001) after immunization. Leptin concentrations increased after immunization only in FF infants (30 +/- 7%, P = 0.03). Correlations between postimmunization increases in IL-beta and reductions in energy intake were of borderline significance (r = -0.56, P = 0.08). These findings support the view that breast-feeding protects against anorectic responses to mild immunologic stimuli. Increases in leptin are associated with reductions in energy consumption in the postimmunization period in FF infants and postimmunization changes in IL-1beta concentrations likely are related to reductions in energy intake in response to immunologic stimuli.

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