Effects of synbiotics on treatment of children with failure to thrive: A triple blind placebo-controlled trial

Fatemeh Famouri, Abolfazl Khoshdel, Arghavan Golshani, Soleiman Kheiri, Hossein Saneian, Roya Kelishadi


Background: Failure to thrive (FTT) is a common problem of children especially in underdeveloped countries. In addition to its short-term adverse health effects, it is associated with long-term behavioral and cognitive defects. One of the recommended treatment modalities for FTT is synbiotics. Due to high prevalence of FTT with undefined organic causes and failure of most medications on treatment of this type of FTT, we decided to search the effect of synbiotics on these patients. Materials and Methods: A randomized,triple-blinded, placebo-controlled trial study was done from 2011 to 2012. A number of 84 patients were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. The synbiotics sachets administered to study group for 6 months. The growth indices were measured at the beginning of the trial after 3 and 6 months and compared with control. Results: Variance analysis of observations showed improvement of growth indices in both groups. The increase in weight was significantly higher in synbiotics group than in controls (P < 0.05). The corresponding figure was not significant for height and head circumference (P > 0.05). The values of mean weights were 10.25 ± 0.20 kg and 10.750 ± 0.160 kg in intervention and control groups, respectively, at the beginning of the study. Meanwhile,the mean weights of two groups became 12.280 ± 0.190 and 11.760 ± 0.17 kg in intervention and control groups, respectively, after 6 months. This result has confirmed that the effect of synbiotics is significant on weight gain of our patients. Conclusion: Our findings support beneficial effects of synbiotics in weight gain of children with FTT.

Key words: Children, failure to thrive, growth, synbiotics

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