The effect of prebiotics in the management of neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia
Article first published online: 23 JUN 2009
© 2009 The Author(s)/Journal Compilation © 2009 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica
Volume 98, Issue 10, pages 1579–1581, October 2009
How to Cite
Bisceglia, M., Indrio, F., Riezzo, G., Poerio, V., Corapi, U. and Raimondi, F. (2009), The effect of prebiotics in the management of neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia. Acta Paediatrica, 98: 1579–1581. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01387.x
- Issue published online: 1 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 23 JUN 2009
- Received 29 December 2008; revised 28 April 2009; accepted 27 May 2009.
- Neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia;
Background: Breast milk oligosaccharides such as galacto-oligosaccharides (scGOS) and fructo-oligosaccharides (lcFOS) can influence the intestinal microbial flora. The latter, in turn, can modulate several intestinal and extraintestinal functions, including bilirubin metabolism. Supplementing infant formula with a prebiotic mixture might then be a novel and safe intervention to manage mild neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia.
Aim: To investigate the effect of dietary supplementation with prebiotics on moderate hyperbilirubinaemia in healthy, term infants.
Methods: A prospective, double-blind, clinical trial was performed on seventy-six consecutive newborns who were randomly assigned to receive a formula containing 0.8 g/dL of a mixture from scGOS and lcFOS (ratio 9:1), or maltodextrines as placebo for 28 days. Bilirubin levels were determined by the transcutaneous bilirubin measurement within 2 h after birth (T1), at 24, 48 and 72 h and at 5, 7, 10 and 28 days of life. The number of stool per day was also recorded.
Results: Neonates receiving prebiotics showed a larger number of stools over all the duration of dietary intervention compared to that of those on placebo (Repeated Measures ANOVA p < 0.001; day 28 3.4 ± 0.0.9 vs 1.7 ± 0.9, respectively; Dunn test p < 0.05). Neonates whose formula was supplemented with prebiotics showed a lower transcutaneous bilirubin that was statistically significant from 72 h of life (5.46 ± 1.6 vs 7.07 ± 2.49, post hoc Dunn test, p < 0.05) throughout the duration of the dietary intervention (day 28 2.41 ± 0.4 vs 2.85 ± 0.5, post hoc Dunn test, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The addition of prebiotics to standard infant diet might represent a novel strategy to help control neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia.