Effect of oligofructose supplementation on gut microflora and well-being in young children attending a day care centre

Int J Food Microbiol. 2007 Jan 1;113(1):108-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2006.07.009. Epub 2006 Sep 22.


The effect of daily administration of oligofructose (OF) on 7-19 months old healthy children intestinal microflora, intestinal tolerance and well-being was assessed in a double blind placebo controlled study. The study comprised 8 days of observation, 21 days of supplementation, and 15 days of post-supplementation. Exclusion criteria included antibiotic use and intake of other prebiotic and probiotic at any time following enrolment. Faecal flora was analysed by culture methods, and health information was recorded daily. Bifidobacteria, tended to slightly increase with OF supplementation, but not with placebo (p=0.095). Simultaneously, a decrease in potential pathogens, significant for clostridia (p=0.05) but not for staphylococci (p=0.09) was observed in the OF group. These modifications did not persist during the post-supplementation period. OF supplementation were accompanied by less flatulence, diarrhoea, vomiting (p<0.001), and fever (p<0.05) events.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium / growth & development*
  • Bifidobacterium / isolation & purification
  • Clostridium / growth & development
  • Clostridium / isolation & purification
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Male
  • Oligosaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Oligosaccharides / adverse effects
  • Probiotics*


  • Oligosaccharides
  • oligofructose