Short-term effect of prebiotics administration on stool characteristics and serum cytokines dynamics in very young children with acute diarrhea

Nutrients. 2010 Jul;2(7):683-92. doi: 10.3390/nu2070683. Epub 2010 Jun 30.


We investigated the effect of a mixture of long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides, galacto-oligosaccharides and acidic oligosaccharides on the number and consistency of stools and on immune system biomarkers in 104 supplemented and non-supplemented subjects (aged 9-24 months) with acute diarrhea. Interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α and sIL-2R cytokine levels were determined. The significant decrease in number of stools and increase in stool consistency in the supplemented group was of little clinical relevance. The only significant change in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines was decreased TNF-α levels in the supplemented group. Prebiotic supplementation during acute diarrhea episodes did not influence the clinical course.

Keywords: cytokines; diarrhea; fructo-oligosaccharides; galacto-oligosaccharides; galacturonic oligosaccharides; infants; prebiotics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy*
  • Diarrhea / microbiology
  • Diarrhea / physiopathology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Feces* / microbiology
  • Galactose / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interleukins / blood
  • Oligosaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Placebos
  • Prebiotics*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukins
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Placebos
  • Prebiotics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • fructooligosaccharide
  • Galactose