Infants born by C-Section have been associated with a heightened risk of immune and metabolic diseases later in life, which research has shown is likely due to the altered gut microbiota.
The study, funded by Danone Nutricia, showed that the nutritional intervention by infant formula supplemented by synbiotics can normalise the level of beneficial bacteria in infants born by C-section.
Speaking to NutraIngredients, Professor Jan Knol, one of the author’s of the study from Wageningen University, said: "I think this is a big step. It could influence the risk of some of the immune and metabolic diseases, including allergy and obesity.
"In this case we really show that synbiotics are really very suitable for infants that have a compromised microbiome development in early life.”
The trial spanned a number of countries and was a double-blind study involving 153 infants delivered by C-section, who received an infant formula supplement with either prebiotic or synbiotics or a non-supplemented formula from birth to four months old.
The trial showed the synbiotic mixture of prebiotic oligosaccharides and probiotic Bifidobacterium breve M-16V in infant formula restored gut colonisation by bifidobacteria and supported healthy gut development in infants delivered by C-section.
“It’s really quite important to get the bifidobacteria into the system as early as we can,” Knol told us.
“I am really happy that if this can’t come from the mother that with a nutritional approach you can kind of compensate this.”
The infants in the synbiotic group also showed a lower pH and higher acetate levels in their stool samples compared with control group during early days of life.
The next step is to carry out further testing on a bigger scale so the harder health effects can be measured,” Knol said.
NutraIngredients-USA will host the third annual Probiotia Americas event in San Francisco on June 7-9. The event features presentation from experts from academia, industry, and regulatory agencies. The event is held in concert with the World Congress of the International Probiotics Association. Scientists from DuPont will present recent data from studies supporting the efficacy of probiotics in combination with prebiotics for weight management. DuPont is also a Diamond Sponsor of this event. For more information or to register, click here.
Source: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000001623
"Effect of Synbiotic on the Gut Microbiota of Caesarean Delivered Infants: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Multicenter Study”
Authors: Jan Knol, et al