Effect of Probiotics on Enteral Milk Tolerance and Prevention of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Preterm Neonates

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pediatrics, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Iran

2 School of Medicine, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Iran

3 Bentol Hoda Hospital, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Iran

4 Natural Products and Medicinal Plants Research Center, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Iran


Background: There is a dearth of studies in Iran on the efficacy of probiotics in reducing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), yielding contradictory results. Therefore, the present study aimed to assess the effect of probiotics on milk tolerance and the prevention of NEC in preterm neonates.
Methods: This randomized triple-blind clinical trial study was conducted on all preterm neonates between 30 and 36 weeks gestation and birth weight >1250 g hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Bentolhoda Hospital in Bojnurd, Iran. Thereafter, 76 eligible neonates were randomly assigned to two groups of oral placebo (n=38) and BB care probiotic (n=38). Subsequently, the following information was extracted based on the hospital checklist: early or late NEC (after 7 days of birth), types of NEC (grade I, II, and III), length of hospitalization, time to reach complete oral nutrition, weight at discharge, and milk tolerance.
Results: In the current study, 52.6% and 47.4% of newborns in control and intervention groups were male, and no significant difference was observed between the two groups (P= 0.646). The incidence of NEC was significantly reduced among the intervention group. The feeding onset in the placebo group was significantly later, as compared to that in the intervention group. A significant difference was detected between the two groups in the length of hospital stay and weight gain during hospitalization.
Conclusion: As evidenced by the obtained results, the administration of probiotics in preterm neonates might prevent NEC. Moreover, it can shorten the onset time of feeding and hospitalization duration.


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