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Table 1 Basic characteristics of studies

From: Effects of probiotics on child growth: a systematic review

Citation Country Sample size(n) Age/Gender: M/F Description of intervention (I) and control (C) groups Duration of intervention and Follow up Outcome measures
Healthy children
Firmansyah et al. 2009 [29] Indonesia n = 393 12 months I: Bifdobacterium longum and Lactobacillus rhamnosusin Duration:12 months Weight gain per day and change in length measured between 12 months and 16 months
I: 199 Gender: both (M/F): 200 ml Milk twice daily + prebiotics and LC-PUFA + Normal Diet No Follow up Other unrelated outcomes (motor and behavioural functions were measured at the end of the intervention)
C: 194 I = 101/98 C: 200 ml Milk twice daily + Normal Diet with no probiotics Measurements for weight gain taken after 4 months (16 months of age)
C = 102/92
Scalabrin et al. 2009 [33] USA n = 286 14 days I: Lactobacillus rhamnosus in Duration: from 14–120 days of age Weight growth rate between 14 and 120 days of age
I(a): 94 Gender: both (a): Extensively hydrolyzed formula (EHF) No follow-up Length
I(b): 98 (M/F): (b): Partially hydrolyzed formula (PHF)   Head circumference
C: 94 I(a): 50/44 C: EHF without probiotic   (Length and head circumference measures were obtained at 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 days of age)
I(b): 49/49 All children were exclusively formula fed and on demand
C: 44/50
Saavedra et al. 2004 [32] USA n = 131 3–24 months I (High supplement (HS)): 1 x 107 Bifdobacterium lactis Bb12 and streptococcus thermophilus CFU/g of standard milk based formula Mean duration: 210 ± 127 days Monthly weight and length
I(HS): 44 Gender: both (M/F): I (Low supplement(LS)): 1 x 106 Bifdobacterium lactis Bb12 and streptococcus thermophilus CFU/g of standard milk based formula No follow-up
I(LS): 43 I(HS): 22/17 C: Standard milk based formula with no probiotics
C: 44 I(LS): 21/19 Intake in each group had to be ≥ 240 ml/day for more than 14 days
C: 16/24
Gibson et al. 2009 [30] Australia n = 142 0–10 days I: Bifdobacterium lactis 3 · 85 x 108 CFU+ Duration: 7 months Weight gain per day, recumbent length, head circumference for 7 months, weight gain (g/d) from day 14 to day 119 (period of exclusively feeding the test formulas)
I: 72 Gender: both LC-PUFA(DHA) and AA in infant formula No Follow up
C: 70 Intervention Female: 56% C: infant formula   Others were BMI, and occurrence of adverse events
Control   (Measurements conducted at approx. 2, 4, 6, 13, 17, 26, 30 weeks of age)
Female: 53% All children were exclusively formula fed but were allowed weaning from 4 months during which at least 500 ml/day of formula to be consumed
Ziegler et al. 2003 [34] USA n = 122 6–10 days I(RP + P): Bifdobacterium lactis in reduced protein formula (RP) Duration: Fed till 112 days of age (approximately 4 months of age) Weight and length gain per day between 8-56 days, 56–112 days and 8–112 days
I(RP + P): 40 Gender: both M/F ratio I(RP): Reduced protein formula
I(RP): 40 Not reported C: Normal protein formula No Follow up
C: 42
Puccio et al. 2007 [31] Italy n = 138 Full term infants (<14 days) I: 2 x 107 Bifdobacterium longum BL999 + 4 g/litre prebiotic in Infant formula Duration: 7 months Mean weight gain, recumbent length, head circumference at 14, 28, 56, 84 and 112 days of age
I: 42 Gender M/F: C: Formula without probiotics No Follow up
C: 55 I: 20/22
C: 25/30
Huet et al. 2006 [35] France n = 203 1 – 28 days I: Bifdobacterium lactis infant formula Duration: 90 days Daily weight gain, daily increase in height from day 0 to day 90
I: 117 Gender: both M/F ratio not reported C: Infant formula No follow up
C: 86
Gil-Campos et al. 2011 [27] Spain N = 137 One month old infants I: 107 cfu/g Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 + galactooligosaccharides (0.3 g/100 ml) in infant formula Duration: 5 months Average daily weight gain between baseline (one month) and 4 months of age
I: 66 Gender M/F: C: galactooligosaccharides (0.3 g/100 ml) in infant formula No follow up
C: 71 I: 34/27
C: 38/22
Undernourished children
Sazawal et al. 2010 [16] India n = 624 1–3 years I: 1.9 x 107 CFU per day of Bifdobacterium lactis HN019 + 2.4 g/day prebiotic in milk powder Duration: One year Weight gain at 6 months and 1 year
I: 312 Gender: both M/F ratio not reported C: milk powder No follow-up
C: 312
Saran et al. 2002 [13] India n = 100 2–5 years I: Lactobacillus acidophilus in curd (beet juice added) 1 x 108 organisms/gm Duration: 6 months Body weight, height for 6 months
I: 50 Gender: both C: Isocaloric supplement (biscuits) No follow up Incidence of morbidity with respect to diarrhoea- frequency, severity and duration
C: 50 Equal numbers
He et al. 2005 [12] China n = 402 3–5 years I: Thermophilus streptococci, Bulgaria lactobacilli and bifidum bacteria in yogurt Duration: 9 months Body weight, height at 3,6 and 9 months
I: 201 Gender: both + normal diet No follow up
C: 201 M/F: C: Normal Diet
I: 106/95
C: 111/90
Surono et al. 2011 [28] Indonesia n = 79 15-54 months I: 1 mg lyophilized Enterococcus faecium IS-27526 (2.31 x 108 cfu/day) in 125 ml commercial UHT low fat milk Duration: 90 days Body weight
I: 39 Gender: both   No follow up
C: 40 M/F: C: 1 mg maltodextrin in 125 ml commercial UHT low fat milk
I: 17/22  
C: 17/23
  1. NCHS: National centre for health statistics.