Send to

Choose Destination
Chin Med J (Engl). 2004 Jun;117(6):927-31.

Supplementation of milk formula with galacto-oligosaccharides improves intestinal micro-flora and fermentation in term infants.

Author information

Department of Newborn Infants, Nanjing Children's Hospital, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210008, China.



Oligosaccharides in human milk may protect infants by improving the intestinal micro-flora and fermentation. This study was to investigate effects of infant formula milk consisting of galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) on intestinal microbial populations and the fermentation characteristics in term infants in comparison with that of human milk.


The test formula (Frisolac H, Friesland, Netherland) was supplemented with GOS at a concentration of 0.24 g/dl. Human milk and another formula without oligosaccharides (Frisolac H, Friesland, Netherland) were used as positive and negative control respectively. Growth, stool characteristics, and side effects of the recruited infants were recorded after 3 and 6 months' follow-up, and the fecal species were collected for the analysis of intestinal micro-flora, short chain fatty acid (SCFA) and pH.


At the end of 3- and 6-month feeding period, intestinal Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli were significantly increased in infants fed with GOS supplemented formula and human milk when compared with infants fed with negative control formula; however, there was no statistically significant difference between GOS supplemented formula and human milk groups. Stool characteristics were influenced by the supplement and main fecal SCFA (acetic), and stool frequency were significantly increased in infants fed with GOS supplemented formula and human milk, while the fecal pH was significantly decreased as compared with that of negative control (P < 0.05). Supplementation had no influence on incidence of side effects (including crying, regurgitation and vomiting).


Supplementing infant formula with GOS at a concentration of 0.24 g/dl stimulates the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli in the intestine and stool characteristics are similar to in term infants fed with human milk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center