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Crit Rev Microbiol. 2019 Feb;45(1):118-129. doi: 10.1080/1040841X.2018.1561643. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Establishment of an ideal gut microbiota to boost healthy growth of neonates.

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a Department of Biomedical Sciences and Institute for Medical Science , Chonbuk National University Medical School , Jeonju , Jeollabuk-do , South Korea.
b Department of Pediatrics , Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy , Hue , Vietnam.
c JINIS BDRD Institute, JINIS Biopharmaceuticals Co , Wanju , Chonbuk , South Korea.


For decades, supporting the optimal growth of low birth weight (LBW) infants has been considered one of the most important paediatric challenges, despite advances in neonatal intensive care technology and nutrition interventions. Since gut microbiota affects such diverse phenotypes in adults, the difference in gut microbiota composition between normal infants and LBW infants raises the possibility of gut microbiota playing an important role in different growth rates of neonates. Based on the concept that probiotics are generally beneficial to the health, numerous studies have been made on probiotics as a supplement to the diet of the LBW infants. However, clinical results on the effects of probiotics on LBW infant growth are either inconsistent or contradictory with each other, and thus the contribution of gut microbiota in neonatal growth has remained inconclusive. In this review, recent researches on neonatal gut microbiota are discussed to develop a new strategy for targeting gut microbiota as a solution to growth retardation in LBW infants. We also discuss how to establish the ideal gut microbiota to support optimal growth of LBW infants.


Low birth weight; growth retardation; gut microbiota; neonatal growth; probiotics

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