Purpose of review: Obviously, the ultimate goal in neonatology is to achieve a functional outcome in premature infants that is comparable to healthy term-born infants. As nutrition is one of the key factors for normal cell growth, providing the right amount and quality of nutrients could prove pivotal for normal development. However, many premature infants are catabolic during the first week of life, which has directly been linked to growth failure, disease, and suboptimal long-term outcome. This review describes the progress in research on parenteral nutrition for premature infants with a focus on amino acids and the influence of nutrition on later outcome.
Recent findings: Although randomized clinical trials on early nutrition for premature infants remain relatively sparse, evidence is accumulating on its beneficial effects both on the short-term and long-term. However, some research also warns for adverse effects.
Summary: Despite the fact that substantially improved nutritional therapies for preterm neonates have been implemented, still, some reluctance exists when it comes to providing high amounts of nutrition to the most immature infants. Pros and cons are outlined, as well as deficits in knowledge, when it comes to providing the optimal nutrient strategy in the first postnatal phase.