The Effect of Synbiotic Supplementation on Growth Parameters in Mild to Moderate FTT Children Aged 2–5 Years

  • Majid Aflatoonian
  • Abbas Taghavi Ardakani
  • Seyedeh Zalfa ModarresiEmail author
  • Vajiheh Modaresi
  • Mehran Karimi
  • Mahtab Ordooei
  • Mahmood Vakili
  • Bahar Pakseresht


Synbiotic (probiotic bacteria and prebiotic) has beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal tract. This study was designed to investigate the effect of synbiotic supplementation on the growth of mild to moderate failure to thrive (FTT) children. A randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted involving 80 children aged 2–5 years with mild to moderate FTT, who were assigned at random to receive synbiotic supplementation (109 colony-forming units) or placebo for 30 days. The weights, height, and BMI were recorded in a structured diary, and the questionnaires were completed to monitor the numbers of infection episodes, gastrointestinal problems, admission to hospital, and appetite improvement during the study. Sixty-nine children completed the study. There were no differences in the demographic characteristic between the two groups. The mean weight was similar at baseline. After 30 days of intervention, the mean weight of the participants in the synbiotic group increased significantly than those in the placebo group (600 ± 37 vs. 74 ± 32 g/month P 0.000). BMI changes in synbiotic and placebo group were 0.44 and 0.07 kg/m2, and that the differences among the two groups were significant.(P 0.045) Furthermore, the height increment in synbiotic and placebo group was 0.41 and 0.37 cm respectively with no significant difference (P 0.761). Administration of 30-day synbiotic supplementation may significantly improve weight and BMI in Iranian children with mild to moderate FTT, but there is no effect on the height in this study. Further studies should be designed to found out the effect of synbiotic on growth parameters in undernourished and well-nourished children.


Body mass index Height Mild to moderate failure to thrive Synbiotic supplementation Weight 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethics Approval and Consent to Participate

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments. The study protocol was approved by the Research Ethical Committee of Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences. Written informed consent was obtained from the patients’ parents or guardians.

Consent for Publication

Not applicable.

Availability of Data and Material

The primary data for this study is available from the authors on direct request.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Majid Aflatoonian
    • 1
  • Abbas Taghavi Ardakani
    • 2
  • Seyedeh Zalfa Modarresi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vajiheh Modaresi
    • 3
  • Mehran Karimi
    • 1
  • Mahtab Ordooei
    • 1
  • Mahmood Vakili
    • 4
  • Bahar Pakseresht
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Growth Disorders of Children Research CenterShahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran
  3. 3.Department of PediatricYazd branch, Islamic Azad UniversityYazdIran
  4. 4.Department of Community Medicine, School of MedicineShahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran
  5. 5.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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