Prebiotic fiber may boost growth and immune function in infants: Piglet data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStockPhoto
Image: iStockPhoto

Related tags Immune system

Early supplementation with prebiotic short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS) may enhance the response to vaccinations and promote growth, says a new study with piglets.

Data published in the Journal of Functional Foods​ indicated that prebiotic supplementation of mother during pregnancy and lactation, and then of the offspring after weaning produced significantly improved responses to flu vaccine, and improved growth.

“Our results confirm the functional activity of scFOS as immune- and growth-modulators according to a period-specific dependent effect,” ​wrote researchers from INRA Saint Gilles, France and prebiotic supplier Tereos. “It agrees with the potential interest of supplementing formula with scFOS to favor immune response in infants.”

Study details

Led by Cindy Le Bourgot at INRA Saint Gilles, the researchers divided 17 sows into two groups: One group received the standard diet and the other had its diet supplemented with scFOS (Profeed P95, Beghin-Meiji) for the last 4 weeks of gestation and during lactation. After weaning, piglets from each litter have been divided into two groups, and received either the diet or the scFOS supplemented diet for 7 weeks. The piglets were given a flu vaccine on day 35 and day 56

Results indicated that the post-weaning scFOS diet was associated with increases in levels of anti-influenza IgA (markers of the immune response) in pig serum and feces.

“This is an important finding because the protection against pathogens that penetrate the respiratory tract mucosa, such as the influenza virus, requires responses from both mucosal and systemic compartments of the adaptive immune system,” ​wrote the researchers.

On the other hand, no effects on immune function were observed as a result of maternal scFOS supplementation only. However, maternal supplementation did prevent some of the decrease in growth observed after vaccination, and also resulted in a higher body weight at 10 weeks of age.

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
June 2016, Volume 24, Pages 307-315, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2016.04.018
“Short-chain fructooligosaccharide supplementation during  gestation and lactation or after weaning differentially impacts pig growth and IgA response to influenza vaccination”
Authors: C. Le Bourgot et al. 

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

An Innovative Prebiotic to Support Microbiome Balance

An Innovative Prebiotic to Support Microbiome Balance

Content provided by Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes | 22-May-2023 | Product Brochure

PreforPro® is a clinically supported prebiotic that supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut by utilizing phage technology.

Fiber, the Original Gut Health Ingredient

Fiber, the Original Gut Health Ingredient

Content provided by Brightseed Inc | 19-May-2023 | White Paper

Gut health is in the spotlight as consumers take control of their own wellness, and fiber is taking center stage.

Expanding Probiotic Possibilities with MuniSpore®

Expanding Probiotic Possibilities with MuniSpore®

Content provided by Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes | 16-May-2023 | Product Brochure

The trillions of microorganisms in the human gut do more than aid digestion. Gut microbes also stimulate the immune system to get into gear when needed,...

Make your mark on the digestive health market

Make your mark on the digestive health market

Content provided by Bioiberica | 11-May-2023 | White Paper

Keeping up with the growing digestive health supplements market can be challenging, especially when exploring emerging conditions, such as histamine intolerance....

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more


View more