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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2009 Jan;48(1):82-8. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31817b6dd2.

Galacto-oligosaccharides are bifidogenic and safe at weaning: a double-blind randomized multicenter study.

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1
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy. fnrslv@unife.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The primary objective of this study was to determine the bifidogenic effect of galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) in a follow-on formula and the effects on other intestinal bacteria. Secondary objectives were the effects on stool characteristics, growth, and general well-being.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS:

In a multicenter, double-blind study, 159 healthy infants, formula-fed at enrollment (at 4-6 months), were randomized to an experimental follow-on formula supplemented with 5 g/L (GOS) (77 infants), or to a standard follow-on formula (control, 82 infants). Infants were evaluated at enrollment (study day 1 = sd1), after 6 weeks (study day 2 = sd2), and after an additional 12 weeks (study day 3 = sd3). At each study day, a fresh stool sample for the bacterial counts was collected, and the growth parameters were measured. At sd2, urinary specimens were collected for the evaluation of urinary osmolarity.

RESULTS:

At sd2 and sd3, the GOS group had a higher median number (colony-forming units per gram of stool) of bifidobacteria than did the control group (sd2 GOS 9.2 x 10(9) vs control 4.4 x 10(9), P = 0.012); (sd3 GOS 7.2 x 10(9) vs control 2.4 x 10(9), P = 0.027). Other bacteria did not show any significant differences between the 2 groups at all study days. The GOS produced softer stools but had no effect on stool frequency. The urinary osmolarity (mOsm/L) at sd2 was comparable in both groups. Supplementation had no influence on the incidence of gastrointestinal side effects or on the growth of the infants.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data indicate that the addition of GOS (5 g/L) to a follow-on formula positively influences the bifidobacteria flora and the stool consistency in infants during the supplementation period at weaning. No local or systemic side effects were recorded.

PMID:
19172129
DOI:
10.1097/MPG.0b013e31817b6dd2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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