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Infant formula with cow's milk fat and prebiotics affects intestinal flora, but not the incidence of infections during infancy in a double-blind randomized controlled trial.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The postnatal intestinal colonization of human milk-fed and formula-fed infants differs substantially, as does the susceptibility to infectious diseases during infancy. Specific ingredients in human milk, such as prebiotic human milk oligosaccharides and a specifically structured fat composition with high proportion of beta-palmitic acid (beta-PA) promote the growth of intestinal bifidobacteria, which are associated with favorable effects on infants' health. The present study investigates whether addition of prebiotic galactooligosaccharides (GOS) in combination with higher amounts of beta-PA from cow's milk fat in infant formula positively affects gut microbiota and the incidence of infections in formula-fed infants. METHODS:In a double-blind controlled trial, formula-fed infants were randomly assigned to either receive an experimental formula containing a higher proportion of beta-PA (20-25%) from natural cow's milk fat, and a prebiotic supplement (0.5?g GOS/100?ml), or a standard infant formula with low beta-PA (< 10%), without prebiotics. A breast-fed reference group was also enrolled. After 12?weeks, fecal samples were collected to determine the proportion of fecal bifidobacteria. The number of infections during the first year of life was recorded. RESULTS:After 12?weeks, the proportion of fecal bifidobacteria was significantly higher in infants receiving formula with high beta-PA and GOS compared to control, and was similar to the breast-fed group (medians 8.8%, 2.5%, and 5.0% respectively; p < 0.001). The incidence of gastrointestinal or other infections during the first year of life did not differ between groups. CONCLUSIONS:The combination of higher amounts of beta-PA plus GOS increased significantly the proportion of fecal bifidobacteria in formula-fed infants, but did not affect the incidence of infections. TRIAL REGISTRATION:The study protocol was registered with Clinical Trials (Protocol Registration and Results System Trial ID: NCT01603719 ) on 05/15/2012 (retrospectively registered).


PROVIDER: S-EPMC7329970 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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