Study supports safety and tolerance of probiotic strain for C-section babies

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© janzwolinski / Getty Images
© janzwolinski / Getty Images

Related tags Lacticaseibacillus paracasei Probiotics c-section first 1000 days infant development

Supplementing the diet of six-month old babies born via caesarean section with Lacticaseibacillus paracasei N1115 may improve gastrointestinal function, with no safety concerns, says a new study.

Data published in Beneficial Microbes​ indicated that 12 weeks of supplementation with L. paracasei ​N1115 increased stool frequency and decreased constipation and abdominal pain in C-section babies.

And importantly, researchers from Peking University in China reported that there were no differences between probiotic-fed and placebo-fed babies in terms of adverse events.

“L. paracasei N1115 was first administrated in Chinese caesarean-born children aged 6-24 months, which was within the period of the first 1000 days of life,” ​they wrote.

“The results demonstrated that the intervention of ​L. paracasei N1115 over 12 weeks was safe and well tolerated and might play a role in improving GI function.”

The study potentially extends the toolbox of probiotic strains to modulate and improve the gut microbiota of babies born via C-section. It is well reported that the gut microbiome of a baby delivered vaginally is different from that of a baby delivered via C-section. (Feeding also impacts the microbiome with the gut microbiome of breast-fed babies different to formula-fed babies.)

“Compared with those born vaginally, offspring born via C-section harbour dysbacteriosis of the early intestinal flora, which potentially leads to an increased risk of gastrointestinal (GI), immunological, metabolic and neuropsychiatric disorders,” ​explained the Peking University scientists.

“Given the dynamic nature of microbiota development with age, the first 1,000 days of life – which includes gestation and the first two years of life – are seen as a window of opportunity to compensate for early microbial imbalance and to improve future health in childhood and even adulthood.”

Study details

The new study examined the safety and tolerance of L. paracasei ​N1115 in 101 C-section-born babies aged between six and 24 months. The infants were randomly assigned to receive either 20 billion CFUs of the probiotic or placebo for 12 weeks.

The results indicated that there were no differences between the groups for a range of anthropometric measures, such as weight, height, and head circumference.

In addition, no differences between the groups were observed for crying, sleep, outdoor activity, temper, appetite, or measures of neurocognitive development.

However, gastrointestinal health measures, such as stool frequency, constipation, and abdominal pain were improved after probiotic consumption, compared to placebo.

“It is important to note that the optimal duration of probiotic supplementation remains uncertain,” ​wrote the researchers. “Considering that the addition of probiotics during pregnancy and neonatal period is an emerging area of research and might have greater efficacy, additional studies are still needed in this respect.”

Source: Beneficial Microbes
Published online ahead of print, doi:
“Safety and tolerance of ​Lacticaseibacillus paracasei N1115 in caesarean-born young children: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial”
Authors: Z. Ren et al.


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