Probiotics-Supplemented Feeding in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants

2014-08-27 03:12:10 | BioPortfolio


The overall purpose of this research is to test whether adding a supplement to the feeding of extremely low birth weight infant (infants weighing less than 2 pound 2 oz at birth) will help him/her achieve full feeding faster and achieve better weight gain.


The overall purpose of this research is to test whether adding a supplement to the feeding of extremely low birth weight infant (infants weighing less than 2 pound 2 oz at birth) will help him/her achieve full feeding faster and achieve better weight gain. The study also will evaluate the benefit of that feeding supplement in decreasing the rate of infection (in the blood or in the urine) and antibiotics use in those infants.

When babies are born, the digestive system (the gastrointestinal tract) is sterile. There are no bacteria residing in their gut. When babies start feeding, it is normal for the intestine to start growing several types of bacteria. These normal (good) bacteria are thought to be helpful in keeping the intestine healthy. This is not the case in premature infants. It takes premature infants a longer time to grow bacteria in their intestines and they have fewer numbers of bacteria. In addition, the bacteria premature infants grow are not the normal one that we see in healthy infants. Instead they grow unhealthy (bad) bacteria that can potentially play a role in causing infection in the blood and urine.

Adding the normal (good) bacteria to the breast milk or infant formula might help to protect premature babies from developing blood or urine infection. In addition, adding the good bacteria might be beneficial in terms of better tolerance to milk feeding. As a result, babies may have less episodes of feeding holding and have better weight gain. Two species of bacteria, called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, have been used to study this in other studies of premature babies. These two species are the most plentiful bacteria seen in the bowels of full term babies.

Participation in the study involves enrolling premature babies to receive supplement to the feeding when he/she ready to feed. Babies will be randomly assigned to receive either a bacteria (probiotic) supplement or be fed without supplement. The supplement will be added to one feeding each day. Enrolled babies will continue to get the supplement for 6-10 week. Other than the feeding supplement, being in this study will not affect care.

The main outcomes of the study will be feeding tolerance and growth. Other complications associated with prematurity, on particular infection of either the gastrointestinal tract or the blood stream will be evaluated.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Low Birth Weight


Probiotic supplementation (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium infantis), Placebo


St. John Hospital & Medical Center
United States




Vermont Oxford Network

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:12:10-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A subspecies of Bifidobacterium longum that occurs in the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT of human infants and is used as a PROBIOTIC. It may also be used in the treatment of IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME.

A species of Bifidobacterium that occurs in the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT of mammals and healthy humans from birth until late adulthood. It produces ANTI-VIRAL AGENTS and ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AGENTS and is used as a PROBIOTIC.

A species of Bifidobacterium present in the human GUT MICROBIOTA. It is used as a PROBIOTIC.

A species of Bifidobacterium that occurs in the LARGE INTESTINE of humans and other mammals and in FERMENTED DAIRY PRODUCTS. It is used as a PROBIOTIC.

A species of Bifidobacterium that occurs in the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT of mammals and healthy humans. It has anti-inflammatory activity and is used as a PROBIOTIC.

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