Early dietary intervention with a mixture of prebiotic oligosaccharides reduces the incidence of allergic manifestations and infections during the first two years of life.

Center for Infant Nutrition, Macedonio Melloni Hospital, University of Milan, Milan 20129, Italy.
Journal of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 4.23). 06/2008; 138(6):1091-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A mixture of neutral short-chain galactooligosaccharides (scGOS) and long-chain fructooligosaccharides (lcFOS) has been shown to reduce the incidence of atopic dermatitis (AD) and infectious episodes during the first 6 mo of life. This dual protection occurred through the intervention period. The present study evaluated if these protective effects were lasting beyond the intervention period. In a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, healthy term infants with a parental history of atopy were fed either a prebiotic-supplemented (8 g/L scGOS/lcFOS) or placebo-supplemented (8 g/L maltodextrin) hypoallergenic formula during the first 6 mo of life. Following this intervention period, blind follow-up continued until 2 y of life. Primary endpoints were cumulative incidence of allergic manifestations. Secondary endpoints were number of infectious episodes and growth. Of 152 participants, 134 infants (68 in placebo, 66 in intervention group) completed the follow-up. During this period, infants in the scGOS/lcFOS group had significantly lower incidence of allergic manifestations. Cumulative incidences for AD, recurrent wheezing, and allergic urticaria were higher in the placebo group, (27.9, 20.6, and 10.3%, respectively) than in the intervention group (13.6, 7.6, and 1.5%) (P < 0.05). Infants in the scGOS/lcFOS group had fewer episodes of physician-diagnosed overall and upper respiratory tract infections (P < 0.01), fever episodes (P < 0.00001), and fewer antibiotic prescriptions (P < 0.05). Growth was normal and similar in both groups. Early dietary intervention with oligosaccharide prebiotics has a protective effect against both allergic manifestations and infections. The observed dual protection lasting beyond the intervention period suggests that an immune modulating effect through the intestinal flora modification may be the principal mechanism of action.

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the safety of a new reduced protein (2.1 g/100 kcal) infant formula containing 4 g/L of 90% galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and 10% fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). Healthy term infants from Brazil were enrolled. Those born to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive mothers were randomized to a test (n = 65) or control (n = 63) formula group. Infants born to HIV-negative mothers were either exclusively breast-fed (n = 79) or received a mixed diet (breast milk and test formula, n = 65). Between 2 weeks and 4 months of age, infants were exclusively fed according to their assigned group. Anthropometric measurements were taken at baseline, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 months. Digestive tolerance was evaluated during the first 4 months. The primary outcome was mean daily weight gain between 2 weeks and 4 months in the test formula and breast-fed groups. Data from all infants (N = 272) were used in the intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis and data from 230 infants were used in the per-protocol (PP) analysis. The difference in mean daily weight gain between 2 weeks and 4 months in the test formula and breast-fed groups was 1.257 g/day (one-sided 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.705 to inf, P < 0.001) in the PP analysis, showing that the lower bound of the 95% CI was above the -3.0 g/day non-inferiority margin. Results were similar in the ITT analysis. Symptoms of digestive tolerance and frequency of adverse events were similar in the two groups. The formula containing 2.1 g/100 kcal protein and GOS and FOS was safe and tolerated well.
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    ABSTRACT: Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients (oligosaccharides) that reach the colon and are used as substrate by microorganisms producing energy, metabolites and micronutrients used for the host; in addition they also stimulate the selective growth of certain beneficial species (mainly bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) in the intestinal microbiota. In this article, a multidisciplinary approach to understand the concept of prebiotic carbohydrates, their properties and beneficial effects in humans has been carried out. Definitions of prebiotics, reported by relevant international organizations and researchers, are described. A comprehensive description of accepted prebiotics having strong scientific evidence of their beneficial properties in humans (inulin-type fructans, FOS, GOS, lactulose and human milk oligosaccharides) is reported. Emerging prebiotics and those which are in the early stages of study have also included in this study. Taken into account that the chemical structure greatly influences carbohydrates prebiotic properties, the analytical techniques used for their analysis and characterization are discussed. In vitro and in vivo models used to evaluate the gastrointestinal digestion, absorption resistance and fermentability in the colon of prebiotics as well as major criteria to design robust intervention trials in humans are described. Finally, a comprehensive summary of the beneficial effects of prebiotics for health at systemic and intestinal levels is reported. The research effort on prebiotics has been intensive in last decades and has demonstrated that a multidisciplinary approach is necessary in order to claim their health benefits. Copyright AULA MEDICA EDICIONES 2014. Published by AULA MEDICA. All rights reserved.

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