The impact was also found to be greater in those aged between six and 12 months.
Lp N1115 is commonly found in fermented milk products and Chinese researchers from Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Shijiazhuang Junlebao Dairy Co., Ltd. wanted to investigate its impact on the gut microbial composition in Chinese infants and toddlers.
A major finding was that Lp N1115 helped with the growth of Lactobacillus, maintained intestinal pH, and improved the immune function of infants and toddlers aged six to 24 months.
However, this only reached a significant level in those aged six to 12 months: “Only statistically significant differences were detected in the 6–12-month-old group, which may be due to factors such as weaning at 6–12 months and supplementary food addition, which accelerated the development of infant humoral immunity, and which made them more susceptible to probiotics.”
This was based on a randomised, triple-blind, controlled trial conducted among 101 healthy and caesarean-delivered infants aged 6-24 months for a period of 12 weeks.
Infants were divided into two age groups: 6-12 months and 13-24 months, and randomised into the treatment group and placebo group.
The treatment group consumed a packet of locally-strained Lp N1115 bacterial powder daily, while the control group took maltodextrin.
Four main visits, consisting of questionnaire, saliva and faecal sample collection, and body measurements, were conducted at baseline, week 4, 8 and 12.
Mechanism of action
The researchers chose to study C-section infants as past literature elicited that there is a “delayed colonization of bifidobacterial and lactobacilli” in this group which may lead to “a certain negative impact on infant intestinal microecology balance and health outcomes.”
Davis et al. and Mohan et al. also found that C-section and premature infants, respectively, benefit more from a probiotic treatment than those delivered naturally. Other researchers have also found that the probiotic treatment is more beneficial when it is started at a younger age.
In this study, the lactobacilli growth initially showed a trend of increasing then decreasing at a low range for the treatment group.
“The reason why the increase of Lactobacillus is not very great may be that the subjects are all over 6 months old. By this time, the intestinal flora of infants has developed, and there are relatively many influencing factors, such as diet, etc,” the researchers explained.
The paper concluded with the researchers saying that the application of this probiotic strain to infants and children is still at an early stage and worthy of further exploration, and could use a longitudinal follow-up for more reliable results.
“This study continued to explore the effect of Lp N1115 on the intestinal development of healthy Chinese infants. Saliva and faecal samples at different time points within the dry anticipation period were obtained and tested, providing a scientific basis for the rational use of Lp N1115 in infant food in the future.”
“Effect of Lacticaseibacillus paracasei N1115 on Immunomodulatory and Gut Microbial Composition in Young Children: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study”
Authors: Li, P. et al.