Intake of probiotic food and risk of spontaneous preterm delivery

Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jan;93(1):151-7. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.004085. Epub 2010 Oct 27.


Background: Preterm delivery represents a substantial problem in perinatal medicine worldwide. Current knowledge on potential influences of probiotics in food on pregnancy complications caused by microbes is limited.

Objective: We hypothesized that intake of food with probiotics might reduce pregnancy complications caused by pathogenic microorganisms and, through this, reduce the risk of spontaneous preterm delivery.

Design: This study was performed in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort on the basis of answers to a food-frequency questionnaire. We studied intake of milk-based products containing probiotic lactobacilli and spontaneous preterm delivery by using a prospective cohort study design (n = 950 cases and 17,938 controls) for the pregnancy outcome of spontaneous preterm delivery (< 37 gestational weeks). Analyses were adjusted for the covariates of parity, maternal educational level, and physical activity.

Results: Pregnancies that resulted in spontaneous preterm delivery were associated with any intake of milk-based probiotic products in an adjusted model [odds ratio (OR): 0.857; 95% CI: 0.741, 0.992]. By categorizing intake into none, low, and high intakes of the milk-based probiotic products, a significant association was observed for high intake (OR: 0.820; 95% CI: 0.681, 0.986).

Conclusion: Women who reported habitual intake of probiotic dairy products had a reduced risk of spontaneous preterm delivery.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Dairy Products
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires