Recent studies have shown that taking probiotics during pregnancy can help in a number of ways. Below I have provided abstracts from studies supporting Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy. The first abstract talks about how probiotics can help control blood sugar levels during pregnancy and help manage glucose disorders. The second abstract talks about probiotics helping reduce excessive birth weights of infants and the effects of birth weight and obesity. The last abstract talks about the safety of Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy.
Balanced glucose metabolism ensures optimal fetal growth with long-term health implications conferred on both mother and child. We examined whether supplementation of probiotics with dietary counselling affects glucose metabolism in normoglycaemic pregnant women. At the first trimester of pregnancy 256 women were randomised to receive nutrition counselling to modify dietary intake according to current recommendations or as controls; the dietary intervention group was further randomised to receive probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12; diet/probiotics) or placebo (diet/placebo) in a double-blind manner, whilst the control group received placebo (control/placebo). Blood glucose concentrations were lowest in the diet/probiotics group during pregnancy (baseline-adjusted means 4.45, 4.60 and 4.56 mmol/l in diet/probiotics, diet/placebo and control/placebo, respectively; P = 0.025) and over the 12 months’ postpartum period (baseline-adjusted means 4.87, 5.01 and 5.02 mmol/l; P = 0.025). Better glucose tolerance in the diet/probiotics group was confirmed by a reduced risk of elevated glucose concentration compared with the control/placebo group (OR 0.31 (95 % CI 0.12, 0.78); P = 0.013) as well as by the lowest insulin concentration (adjusted means 7.55, 9.32 and 9.27 mU/l; P = 0.032) and homeostasis model assessment (adjusted means 1.49, 1.90 and 1.88; P = 0.028) and the highest quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (adjusted means 0.37, 0.35 and 0.35; P = 0.028) during the last trimester of pregnancy. The effects observed extended over the 12-month postpartum period. The present study demonstrated that improved blood glucose control can be achieved by dietary counselling with probiotics even in a normoglycaemic population and thus may provide potential novel means for the prophylactic and therapeutic management of glucose disorders
Br J Nutr. 2009 Jun;101(11):1679-87. Epub 2008 Nov 19.
Probiotics and dietary counselling contribute to glucose regulation during and after pregnancy: a randomised controlled trial.
Laitinen K, Poussa T, Isolauri E; Nutrition, Allergy, Mucosal Immunology and Intestinal Microbiota Group.
Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland
The perinatal nutritional environment impacts upon the health and well-being of mother and child also in the long term. The aim of the present study was to determine the safety and efficacy of perinatal probiotic-supplemented dietary counselling by evaluating pregnancy outcome and fetal and infant growth during the 24 months’ follow-up. Altogether, 256 women were randomised at their first trimester of pregnancy into a control and a dietary intervention group. The intervention group received intensive dietary counselling provided by a nutritionist and were further randomised, double-blind to receive probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12; diet/probiotics) or placebo (diet/placebo). Firstly, probiotic intervention reduced the frequency of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM); 13 % (diet/probiotics) v. 36 % (diet/placebo) and 34 % (control); P = 0.003. Secondly, the safety of this approach was attested by normal duration of pregnancies with no adverse events in mothers or children. No significant differences in prenatal or postnatal growth rates among the study groups were detected. Thirdly, distinctive effects of the two interventions were detected; probiotic intervention reduced the risk of GDM and dietary intervention diminished the risk of larger birth size in affected cases; P = 0.035 for birth weight and P = 0.028 for birth length. The results of the present study show that probiotic-supplemented perinatal dietary counselling could be a safe and cost-effective tool in addressing the metabolic epidemic. In view of the fact that birth size is a risk marker for later obesity, the present results are of significance for public health in demonstrating that this risk is modifiable.
Br J Nutr. 2010 Jun;103(12):1792-9. Epub 2010 Feb 4.
Impact of maternal probiotic-supplemented dietary counselling on pregnancy outcome and prenatal and postnatal growth: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Luoto R, Laitinen K, Nermes M, Isolauri E.
Department of Paediatrics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria are increasingly being administered to pregnant women and infants with the intention of improving health. Although these organisms have a long record of safe use, it is important to identify any adverse effects in potentially vulnerable populations. In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, we evaluated the safety of a bacterial dietary supplement for the prevention of atopy in infants. Two strains of lactobacilli (Lactobacillus salivarius CUL61 and Lactobacillus paracasei CUL08) and bifidobacteria (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis CUL34 and Bifidobacterium bifidum CUL20) with a total of 1 x 10(10) colony-forming units were administered daily to women during the last month of pregnancy and to infants aged 0-6 mo. Adverse events (AE) were classified according to WHO International Statistical Classification of Diseases criteria. Common symptoms were recorded by regular questionnaires. Baseline characteristics of 220 mother-infant dyads in the treatment and 234 in the placebo group were similar. Compliance with the trial interventions, loss to follow-up, symptoms, drug usage, infant growth, method of feeding, visits to the doctor, and mothers’ assessment of infant health were similar in the 2 groups. Fifteen (6.8%) mothers and 73 (33.2%) infants in the treatment group and 21 (9.0%) mothers and 75 (32.1%) infants in the placebo group reported AE (P = 0.49 and P = 0.84, respectively). Severe AE occurred in 18 mothers and 63 infants with a similar frequency in each group. None of the AE were attributed to the intervention. Our findings support the safe use of this consortium of organisms during pregnancy and early infancy.
J Nutr. 2010 Mar;140(3):483-8. Epub 2010 Jan 20.
Dietary supplementation with lactobacilli and bifidobacteria is well tolerated and not associated with adverse events during late pregnancy and early infancy.
Allen SJ, Jordan S, Storey M, Thornton CA, Gravenor M, Garaiova I, Plummer SF, Wang D, Morgan G.
The School of Medicine, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, Wales, UK
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