oa South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition - Probiotics in premature infants : focus on necrotising enterocolitis : review article



The premature infant may be exposed to an environment that is associated with the development of gastrointestinal complications. In preventing the latter, it is crucial that, if probiotics is chosen as a preventive measure, the selection of a safe product with documented probiotic properties together with close monitoring of patients is mandatory before offering this therapy for routine use in this high-risk deserving population. It is important to note that the effect of a probiotic bacterium is strain-specific. When considering the evidence from randomized control trials, researchers believe that probiotics should be offered as routine therapy for preterm infants, and that additional placebo-controlled trials are not necessary. The available guidelines may be a helpful tool in optimizing the use of probiotics in research settings.


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