Potential use of multi-strain synbiotics for improving postnatal head circumference
Background & Objective: Preterm infants need nutritional and medical requirements in accordance with the physiologic maturity at birth and maintaining optimal postnatal corporal and cerebral growth is one of the main targets of medical caregivers. However, only a few strategies exist to improve the outcomes of infants in a pathogen-rich and nutrient-poor neonatal intensive care unit environment.In this pilot study, we hypothesize that synbiotics may enhance brain growth, which is reflected indirectly by an increase in head circumference through several signalling molecules.
Methods: A pilot study was conducted in preterm infants with a gestational age of ≤32 weeks and a birth weight of ≤1500 grams at neonatal intensive care unit of Uludag Univeristy Medical Faculty (NICU) for one-year period. Following the randomization of the infants, a prepared commercial synbiotic solution containing multi-combined probiotics and prebiotics was administered enterally to the study group.
Results: The odds of a patient having a lower body weight and head circumference below the 10th percentile were significantly lower in the probiotic group (p=0.001, p=0.03, respectively). Moreover, the infants in the synbiotics group had a more optimal head circumference (between the 50th and 90th percentiles, p=0.001).
Conclusions: Our results show that if we can maintain optimal gut microbiota, we might achieve better neuro-development via the beneficial effects of synbiotics on cytokines, neurotransmitters, and the cellular immunity of the nervous system. Further investigational models are needed to demonstrate the beneficial effects of synbiotics on the central nervous system.
How to cite this:Guney Varal I, Koksal N, Ozkan H, Bagci O, Dogan P. Potential use of multi-strain synbiotics for improving postnatal head circumference. Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(6):1502-1506. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.346.16107
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