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Pediatr Res. 2008 Oct;64(4):418-22. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e318181b7fa.

Effects of Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 supplementation on body weight, fecal pH, acetate, lactate, calprotectin, and IgA in preterm infants.

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Department of Gastrointestinal Microbiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal 14558, Germany.


Preterm infants are prone to abnormal bacterial colonization of the intestine with ensuing adverse health effects. To examine whether the oral application of Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 (probiotic) may improve selected indicators of health status in preterm infants, a double blind, placebo controlled randomized clinical study was performed on 69 preterm infants (<37 gestation wk). Weight gain was defined as the primary outcome measure. In antibiotic-treated infants, probiotic supplementation resulted in a higher body weight compared with placebo (p < 0.001). In the probiotic group, the fecal pH was significantly lower than in the placebo group. The fecal concentrations of acetate and lactate were 42 and 38% higher, respectively, in the probiotic group than in the placebo group. Fecal calprotectin was lower in the probiotic group (p = 0.041), while fecal IgA was higher in this group compared with the placebo group (p = 0.021).

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