Effect of Prebiotic Supplementation and Calcium Intake on Body Mass Index

Steven A. Abrams, Ian J. Griffin, Keli M. Hawthorne, Kenneth J. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the effects of a prebiotic supplement and usual calcium intake on body composition changes during pubertal growth. Study design: We measured anthropometry and body fat with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in 97 young adolescents who were randomized to receive either a daily prebiotic supplement or maltodextrin (control) for 1 year. Results: Subjects who received the prebiotic supplement had a smaller increase in body mass index (BMI) compared with the control group (BMI difference 0.52 ± 0.16 kg/m2, P = .016), BMI Z-score (difference 0.13 ± 0.06, P = .048) and total fat mass (difference 0.84 ± 0.36 kg, P = .022). The prebiotic group maintained their baseline BMI Z-score (0.03 ± 0.01, paired t test, P = .30), although BMI Z-score increased significantly in the control group (0.13 ± 0.03, P < .001). In considering subjects whose usual calcium intake was ≥700 mg/d, those who received the prebiotic supplement had a relative change in BMI that was 0.82 kg/m2 less than control subjects (P < .01), and BMI Z-score that was 0.20 less than control subjects (P = .003). Differences tended to be maintained 1 year after supplementation was stopped. Conclusion: Prebiotic supplementation and avoidance of a low calcium intake can have significant effects in modulating BMI and other body composition changes during puberty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-298
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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