Effects of probiotics on child growth

Added October 4, 2020

Citation: Onubi O.J., Poobalan A.S., Dineen B., et al. Effects of probiotics on child growth: A systematic review. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 2015;34(1):1-15

This review found benefits in the dietary intake of probiotics in terms of height and weight gain among undernourished children and possible weight benefits among well-nourished children in developing countries. Limited evidence suggests that probiotics have the potential to improve children’s health in developing countries and among undernourished children. Additional research is needed to explore this topic further.

Childhood undernutrition can have long-term consequences for both individuals and society. Previous studies have suggested that probiotics can promote growth and be used to treat malnutrition in children. This study aimed to assess existing evidence on the benefits of probiotics to treat malnutrition in children using a systematic review as well as a narrative analysis to compensate for the heterogeneity. Twelve studies were included in this review, ten of which are randomised controlled trials. The results showed that five trials, carried out in developing countries, indicated positive effects of probiotics on a child’s growth. No significant impact of probiotics on children’s growth was observed during studies in developed countries. Additional research is required to explore in more detail the impact of probiotics on malnutrition in children.


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