Prebiotic carbohydrate may reduce infant infection duration, says Beneo

In a Beneo-funded study, the research team demonstrates the efficacy of an inulin-type oligosaccharide that when blended with infant formula appeared to shorten episodes of infection by increasing Bifidobacterium​ levels in the gut.

“The research results are especially exciting because they reflect the first year in a baby’s life for the first time and show that the duration of infections was significantly reduced by the group consuming formula enriched with Orafti Synergy1,” ​comments Anke Sentko, Vice President Regulatory Affairs & Nutrition Communication at BENEO.

“Without a doubt, this is good news for both babies and their parents. With the right choice of ingredients, formulas can be improved by enriching them with prebiotic oligofructose-enriched inulin and brought closer to the gold standard of breast-feeding.”

Bifidobacterium​ numbers

In a Spanish-German collaboration, the team’s prospective, multicentre, randomised, double-blind study, enrolled 160 healthy term infants under 4 months of age with 149 infants making up the intention to treat (ITT) population.

These infants were randomised to receive either an infant formula enriched with 0.8 grams per decilitre (g/dL) of Orafti Synergy1 or an unsupplemented control formula until the age of 12 months.

Growth, fever (over 38°C) and infections were regularly followed up and digestive symptoms, stool consistency as well as crying and sleeping patterns were recorded for one week each study month.

Faecal microbiota and immunological biomarkers were also noted from a subgroup of infants after two, six and 12 months of life.