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The purpose of this research study is to determine whether a functional fiber, galactooligosaccharide, can help maintain immune strength and digestive health in undergraduate students who are undergoing an academic stress (i.e., final exams). Subjects will be asked to consume the fiber or placebo each day for eight weeks. Immune and gastrointestinal health will be evaluated via daily questionnaires obtained from 420 students and from the collection of fecal samples in a subgroup of students.
A prospective, randomized, parallel, double-blind, placebo controlled design will be used. Healthy full-time undergraduate students undergoing fall 2009 final academic exams will be recruited from the University of Florida. Informed consent will be obtained. All subjects will be consented for the main intervention study and a subgroup (n=25/group or 75 total) of these subjects will also be consented to provide two stool samples at baseline and two stool samples during the week of final exams (approximately week 4 of the intervention). Subjects will be stratified based on gender and randomized (n=140/group) to receive 0 g, 2.5 g, or 5.0 g of the fermentable fiber, galactooligosaccharides, for eight weeks around the time of their fall final exams. Subjects will complete daily online questionnaires asking whether they are experiencing any cold/flu symptoms. Weekly online questionnaires will collect information regarding gastrointestinal symptoms over the past week. The acute psychological stress associated with final exams will increase cold/flu symptoms. It is anticipated that students consuming the galactooligosaccharides versus the placebo will have more healthy days (i.e., days without cold symptoms) due to fiber induced changes in the beneficial bacteria within the colon, which reduces the burden on the immune system.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Basic Science
University of Florida
Active, not recruiting
University of Florida
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:13:09-0400
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