Article

Effects of probiotic or prebiotic supplemented milk formulas on fecal microbiota composition of infants.

Ultrastructure Laboratory, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA),University of Chile, J.P. Alessandri 5540, Santiago, Chile.
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 1.36). 01/2006; 15(3):368-76.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to evaluate whether supplementation of milk-formulas with prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharides or a probiotic, Lactobacillus johnsonii La1 (La1), could modulate the composition of the fecal microbiota of formula-fed infants, compared to breastfed (BF) infants. Ninety infants close to 4 months of age were randomized into one of three groups to be blindly assigned to receive for 13 weeks: a) an infant formula (Control), b) the same formula with fructo-oligosaccharides (Prebio), or c) with La1 (Probio). At the end of this period, all infants received the control formula for 2 additional weeks. Twenty-six infants, breastfed throughout the study, were recruited to form group BF. Fecal samples were obtained upon enrolment and after 7 and 15 weeks. Bacterial populations were assessed with classical culture techniques and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH). Seventy-six infants completed the study. On enrolment, higher counts of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus and lower counts of enterobacteria were observed in BF compared to the formula-fed infants; these differences tended to disappear at weeks 7 and 15. No major differences for Clostridium, Bacteroides or Enterococcus were observed between the groups or along the follow up. Probio increased fecal Lactobacillus counts (p<0.001); 88% of the infants in this group excreted live La1 in their stools at week 7 but only 17% at week 15. Increased Bifidobacterium counts were observed at week 7 in the 3 formula groups, similar to BF infants. These results confirm the presence of higher counts of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the microbiota of BF infants compared to formula-fed infants before dietary diversification, and that La1 survives in the infant digestive tract.

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