Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Nov;86(5):1426-37.
Effects of galactooligosaccharide and long-chain fructooligosaccharide supplementation during pregnancy on maternal and neonatal microbiota and immunity--a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Shadid R, Haarman M, Knol J, Theis W, Beermann C, Rjosk-Dendorfer D, Schendel DJ, Koletzko BV, Krauss-Etschmann S. Pediatric Immune Regulation Clinical Cooperation Group, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany.
BACKGROUND: Galactooligosaccharides (GOS) and long-chain fructooligosaccharides (lcFOS) proliferate bifidobacteria in infant gut microbiota. However, it is not known how GOS and FOS influence the microbiota of pregnant women and whether a potential prebiotic effect is transferred to the offspring.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to test how supplementation with GOS and lcFOS (GOS/lcFOS) in the last trimester of pregnancy affects maternal and neonatal gut microbiota. Variables of fetal immunity were assessed as a secondary outcome.
DESIGN: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study, 48 pregnant women were supplemented 3 times/d with 3 g GOS/lcFOS (at a ratio of 9:1) or maltodextrin (placebo) from week 25 of gestation until delivery. Percentages of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli within total bacterial counts were detected by fluorescent in situ hybridization and quantitative polymerase chain reaction in maternal and neonatal (days 5, 20, and approximately 182) stool samples. Variables of fetal immunity were assessed in cord blood by using flow cytometry and cytokine multiplex-array analysis.
RESULTS: The proportions of bifidobacteria in the maternal gut were significantly higher in the supplemented group than in the placebo group (21.0% and 12.4%, respectively; P = 0.026); the proportion of lactobacilli did not differ between the groups. In neonates, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli percentages, diversity and similarity indexes, and fetal immune parameters did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. Mother-neonate similarity indexes of bifidobacteria decreased over time.
CONCLUSIONS: GOS/lcFOS supplementation has a bifidogenic effect on maternal gut microbiota that is not transferred to neonates. The increased maternal bifidobacteria did not affect fetal immunity as measured by a comprehensive examination of cord blood immunity variables.
PMID: 17991656 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]