Author(s): Boehm G, Fanaro S, Jelinek J, Stahl B, Marini A
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Abstract In the neonatal period, the intestine is colonised in a stepwise process that depends on mode of delivery, environmental factors, bacterial interactions, and the host itself resulting in a colonisation with a complex heterogeneous bacterial flora. Oligosaccharides have been identified as an important prebiotic factor of human milk As long as analogues of human milk oligosaccharides are not available now and in the near future it is aimed to resemble the prebiotic effect of human milk by oligosaccharides from available sources. In the present study in preterm infants, a mixture of 90\% galacto-oligosaccharides and 10\% fructo-oligosaccharides has been tested. The mixture of GOS/FOS was composed to mimic the molecule size distribution of human milk oligosaccharides. Microbiological analysis of the faces was performed before and 7, 14, and 28 days after start of supplementation and stool characteristics have been recorded. Maltodextrin was used as placebo and infants fed human milk have been used as reference. After a 28 days feeding period, the number of bifidobacteria of the group fed the oligosaccharide supplemented formula was in the upper range of the reference group whereas the numbers of the group fed the formula supplemented with the placebo were in the lower range of the reference group (placebo: 7.9 +/- 0.83 and GOS/FOS mixture: 10,0 +/- 2.05 log 10 CFU/g wet stool; reference (M +/- SD): 7.14-10.7 log 10 CFU/g wet stool). Stool characteristics in the group fed the supplemented formula were close to those found in the human milk fed infants. In summary, supplementation of a preterm formula with a mixture of galacto- and fructo-oligosaccharides has a stimulating effect on the growth of bifidobacteria in the intestine and results in more frequent produced and softer stools. Thus, prebiotic mixtures such like the studied oligosaccharide mixture might help in improving intestinal tolerance to enteral feeding in preterm infants.
This article was published in Acta Paediatr Suppl
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology