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Synbiotic (probiotic bacteria and prebiotic) has beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal tract. This study was designed to investigate the effect of synbiotic supplementation on the growth of mild to moderate failure to thrive (FTT) children. A randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted involving 80 children aged 2-5 years with mild to moderate FTT, who were assigned at random to receive synbiotic supplementation (10 colony-forming units) or placebo for 30 days. The weights, height, and BMI were recorded in a structured diary, and the questionnaires were completed to monitor the numbers of infection episodes, gastrointestinal problems, admission to hospital, and appetite improvement during the study. Sixty-nine children completed the study. There were no differences in the demographic characteristic between the two groups. The mean weight was similar at baseline. After 30 days of intervention, the mean weight of the participants in the synbiotic group increased significantly than those in the placebo group (600 ± 37 vs. 74 ± 32 g/month P 0.000). BMI changes in synbiotic and placebo group were 0.44 and 0.07 kg/m, and that the differences among the two groups were significant.(P 0.045) Furthermore, the height increment in synbiotic and placebo group was 0.41 and 0.37 cm respectively with no significant difference (P 0.761). Administration of 30-day synbiotic supplementation may significantly improve weight and BMI in Iranian children with mild to moderate FTT, but there is no effect on the height in this study. Further studies should be designed to found out the effect of synbiotic on growth parameters in undernourished and well-nourished children.
Majid Aflatoonian,Abbas Taghavi Ardakani
Seyedeh Zalfa Modarresi
Majid Aflatoonian,Abbas Taghavi Ardakani,Seyedeh Zalfa Modarresi,Vajiheh Modaresi,Mehran Karimi,Mahtab Ordooei,Mahmood Vakili,Bahar Pakseresht