Effects of bovine α-lactalbumin and casein glycomacropeptide-enriched infant formulae on faecal microbiota in healthy term infants

Wolfram M. Brück, Michele Redgrave, Kieran M. Tuohy, Bo Lönnerdal, Gitte Graverholt, Olle Hernell, Glenn R. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Certain milk factors may promote the growth of a host-friendly gastrointestinal microbiota, for example, one that is predominated by bifidobacteria, a perceived health-promoting genus. This may explain why breast-fed infants experience fewer intestinal infections than their formula-fed counterparts who are believed to have a more diverse microbiota, which is similar to that of adults. The effects of formulas supplemented with 2 such ingredients from bovine milk, α-lactalbumin (α-lac) and casein glycomacropeptide (GMP), on gut flora were investigated in this study. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Six-week-old (4-8 wk), healthy term infants were randomised to a standard infant formula or 1 of 2 test formulae enriched in α-lac with higher or lower GMP until 6 months. Faecal bacteriology was determined by the culture-independent procedure fluorescence in situ hybridisation. RESULTS: There was a large fluctuation of bacterial counts within groups with no statistically significant differences between groups. Although all groups showed a predominance of bifidobacteria, breast-fed infants had a small temporary increase in counts. Other bacterial levels varied in formula-fed groups, which overall showed an adult-like faecal microflora. CONCLUSIONS: It can be speculated that a prebiotic effect for α-lac and GMP is achieved only with low starting populations of beneficial microbiota (eg, infants not initially breast-fed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-679
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Volume43
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Keywords

  • Alpha-lactalbumin
  • Casein glycomacropeptide
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Human trials
  • Infant nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Histology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Brück, W. M., Redgrave, M., Tuohy, K. M., Lönnerdal, B., Graverholt, G., Hernell, O., & Gibson, G. R. (2006). Effects of bovine α-lactalbumin and casein glycomacropeptide-enriched infant formulae on faecal microbiota in healthy term infants. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 43(5), 673-679.