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Keywords:

  • infants;
  • immune parameters;
  • breast feeding;
  • formula feeding;
  • prebiotic

Raes M, Scholtens PAMJ, Alliet Ph, Hensen K, Jongen H, Boehm G, Vandenplas Y, Rummens JL. Exploration of basal immune parameters in healthy infants receiving an infant milk formula supplemented with prebiotics. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010: 21: e377–e385. © 2009 Jon Wiley & Sons A/S

This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, aimed to explore the effect of an infant milk formula (IMF) with 6 g/l short-chain galacto- and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scGOS/lcFOS, ratio 9:1) on basal immune parameters in 215 healthy, term infants during the first 26 wk of life. After birth, the infants received breast milk or were randomized to receive an IMF with or without scGOS/lcFOS. Blood samples were collected at the age of 8 wk and 26 wk for the analysis of serum immunoglobulins, lymphocyte subpopulations, and cytokines. The scGOS/lcFOS group and the control group were compared in the statistical analysis. A breast fed group was included as a reference. In total, 187 Infants completed the study. No significant differences were observed between both formula groups in the different studied immune parameters at weeks 8 and 26. This explorative study indicates that supplementation of infant formula with a mixture of prebiotic oligosaccharides did not change the basal level of the measured parameters of the developing immune system in healthy infants with a balanced immune system during the first 6 months of life in comparison to feeding a standard infant formula and in comparison to exclusive breastfeeding.