Dosage-related prebiotic effects of inulin in formula-fed infants

Hanifah Oswari, Ariani Dewi Widodo, Frieda Handayani, Mohammad Juffrie, Tonny Sundjaya, Jacques Bindels, Badriul Hegar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify the minimally meaningful dosage of inulin leading to a prebiotic effect in Indonesian infants. Methods: In a randomized controlled double-blinded, parallel, 3-arm intervention study, 164 healthy formula-fed infants aged 3 to 5 months first obtained formula-A (without inulin) during a 4-week adaptation period. Subsequently, 142 subjects were subjected to a 4-week feeding period by administering either formula-A (no inulin), formula-B (0.2 g/100 mL inulin) or formula-C (0.4 g/100 mL inulin). The primary outcome parameter was %-bifidobacteria in faecal samples determined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses. Secondary outcome parameters were faecal %-lactobacilli, pH and stool frequency, and consistency. Growth and tolerance/adverse effects were recorded as safety parameters. Results: Typical %-bifidobacteria and %-lactobacilli at the end of the adaptation period in the study population were 14% and 2%, respectively. For faecal pH, significant differences between formula groups A vs. C and A vs. B were found at the end of the intervention period. Testing for differences in faecal %-bifidobacteria and %-lactobacilli between groups was hampered by non-normal data set distributions; no statistically significant differences were obtained. Comparisons within groups revealed that only in formula group C, all the three relevant parameters exhibited a significant effect with an increase in faecal %-bifidobacteria and %-lactobacilli and a decrease in pH. Conclusion: A consistent prebiotic effect along with a decrease in pH and increase in %-bifidobacteria and %-lactobacilli was found only in the group administered 0.4 g inulin/100 mL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Gastrointestinal microbiome
  • Infant formula
  • Inulin
  • Prebiotics


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