Impact of dietary counselling and probiotic intervention on maternal anthropometric measurements during and after pregnancy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial

Clin Nutr. 2011 Apr;30(2):156-64. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2010.09.009.


Background & aims: To establish whether probiotic supplemented dietary counselling influences maternal anthropometric measurements during and after pregnancy.

Methods: At the first trimester of pregnancy 256 women were randomly assigned to receive nutrition counselling to modify dietary intake according to current recommendations or as controls; dietary intervention groups were further randomized to receive probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) and Bifidobacterium lactis (diet/probiotics) or placebo (diet/placebo) capsules in a double-blind manner, whilst the controls received placebo (control/placebo). The intervention lasted until the end of exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months.

Results: The risk of central adiposity defined as waist circumference 80 cm or more was lowered in women in the diet/probiotics group compared with the control/placebo group (OR 0.30, 95%CI 0.11-0.85, p = 0.023 adjusted for baseline BMI), whilst the diet/placebo group did not differ from the controls (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.38-2.68, p = 0.994) at 6 months postpartum. The number needed to treat (NNT) with diet/probiotics to prevent one woman from developing a waist circumference of 80 cm or more was 4. Healthy eating pattern at 12 months postpartum (p = 0.001) and BMI prior to pregnancy (p < 0.001) were strong determinants of BMI at 12 months postpartum when adjusted for dietary intervention and exercise.

Conclusion: The impact of probiotics-supplemented dietary counselling on central adiposity, may offer a novel means for the prevention and management of obesity. This trial was registered at as NCT 00167700, section 3.

Trial registration: NCT00167700.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry*
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Breast Feeding
  • Counseling*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus
  • Logistic Models
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Single-Blind Method

Associated data