Functional food for infants and children

F. Haschke, Agus Firmansyah, M. Meng, P. Steenhout, A. L. Carrié

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Statements about the availability of selected foods ("functional foods") to reduce the risk of diseases still continue to polarise opinions. If functional food is offered to infants and toddlers, its safety and efficacy have to be established. Breast-feeding is the best example for functional nutrition during the 1st year of life. Additions to infant food. Probiotics - health-promoting bacteria - added to formula are effective for the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea. Moreover, they act as an anticonstipation factor and reduce the incidence of diaper rash. Prebiotics - oligosaccharides, which promote growth of health-promoting bacteria in the gut - added to infant cereals are helpful in reducing the incidence of fever, any cold symptoms, runny nose, and severity of diarrhoea. Consumption of prebiotics before, during, and after measles vaccination resulted in a higher IgG measles antibody titre 6 weeks after vaccination. Conclusion: Further studies with pro- and prebiotics in small children in developing and developed countries are necessary to elucidate the influence on health and the cellular and humoral immune status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S66-S70
JournalMonatsschrift fur Kinderheilkunde
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Children
  • Diarrhoea
  • Immunity
  • Infants
  • Infection
  • Measles vaccination
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics


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