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Premature Babies With Damaged Intestines Could Benefit From Prebiotic Feeding

October 15, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Children who have suffered from intestinal failure could benefit from adding the right prebiotics to their diet, a U.S. study has found in piglets. The researchers fed the newborn pigs the carbohydrate fructooligosacharide (FOS) as a prebiotic. Many premature infants develop necrotizing enterocolitis, a kind of gangrene of the intestine and have to be fed intravenously once the damaged parts of the intestine are surgically removed. The new research found that by adding FOS to the piglets’ diet, the gut grew and increased in function. FOS enters the intestines where bacteria convert it into butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that increases the size of the intestines and their ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
J. L. Barnes et al., " Intestinal Adaptation Is Stimulated by Partial Enteral Nutrition Supplemented With the Prebiotic Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharide in a Neonatal Intestinal Failure Piglet Model", Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, October 15, 2012, © The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
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