Table 7

Summary of findings table: Synbiotic studies
Effects of infant formula containing Synbiotics on clinical outcomes in full term infants
Patient or population: Full term infants, Settings: Multi-centre trials, Intervention: Infant formula with synbiotics, Comparison: Conventional infant formula
Outcomes Illustrative comparative risks* (95% CI) Measure of effect (95% CI) No of Participants (studies) Quality of the evidence (GRADE)
Assumed risk Corresponding risk
Conventional formula Infant formula with synbiotics
Weight gain (g/day) for boys The mean (SD) weight gain (g/day) in control group was 30.9 (6.1) Mean (SD) weight gain in synbiotic group was 31.8 (5.9) MD (95% CI): 0.90 (−1.95 to 3.75) 81 (1 study) ⊕⊕⊝⊝
Follow-up: mean 4 months low1,2
Weight gain (g/day) for girls The mean (SD) weight gain (g/day) in control group was 26.9 (6) Mean (SD) weight gain in synbiotic group was 27.8 (6) MD (95% CI): 0.90 (−1.81 to 3.61) 86 (1 study) ⊕⊕⊝⊝
Follow-up: mean 4 months low3,4
Length gain (mm/mo) for boys The mean (SD) length gain (mm/month for boys in control group ranged from 32.6 (3.6) to 35.1 (4.4) The mean length gain (mm/mo) for boys in the intervention groups was 0.75 higher (0.66 lower to 2.17 higher) MD (95% CI): 0.75 (−0.66 to 2.17) 120 (2 studies) ⊕⊕⊝⊝
Follow-up: mean 4 months low5,6,7
Length gain (mm/mo) for girls The mean length gain (mm/month) for girls in the control groups ranged from 31.2 (3.7) to 32.2 (4.6) The mean length gain (mm/mo) for girls in the intervention groups was 0.75 higher (0.63 lower to 2.13 higher) MD (95% CI): 0.75 (−0.63 to 2.13) 138 (2 studies) ⊕⊕⊝⊝
Follow-up: mean 4 months low8,9,10
Head circumference gain (mm/mo) for boys The mean head circumference gain (mm/month) for boys in the control groups ranged from 17.4 (2.9) to 18.4 (2.3) The mean head circumference gain (mm/mo) for boys in the intervention groups was 0.06 lower (0.96 lower to 0.85 higher) MD (95% CI): -0.06 (−0.96 to −0.85) 126 (2 studies) ⊕⊕⊝⊝
Follow-up: 4 to 6 months
Head circumference gain (mm/mo) for girls The mean head circumference gain (mm/month) for girls in the control groups ranged from 15.5 (3) to 16.7 (2.4) The mean head circumference gain (mm/mo) for girls in the intervention groups was 0.05 lower (0.94 lower to 0.85 higher) MD (95% CI): -0.05 (−0.94 to 0.85) 138 (2 studies) ⊕⊕⊝⊝
Follow-up: 4 to 6 months low13,14
Stool frequency (evacuations per day) The mean (SD) stool frequency (evacuations per day) in the control group ranged from 1.4 (0.49) to 1.8 (0.9) The mean stool frequency (evacuations per day) in the intervention groups was 0.28 higher (0.08 to 0.48 higher) MD (95% CI): 0.28 (0.08 to 0.48) 176 (2 studies) ⊕⊕⊝⊝
Follow-up: 4 to 6 months low15,16

*The basis for the assumed risk (e.g. the median control group risk across studies) is provided in footnotes. The corresponding risk (and its 95% confidence interval) is based on the assumed risk in the comparison group and the measure of effect of the intervention (and its 95% CI).CI: Confidence interval, MD: Mean Difference.

GRADE Working Group grades of evidence. High quality: Further research is very unlikely to change our confidence in the estimate of effect. Moderate quality: Further research is likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and may change the estimate. Low quality: Further research is very likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and is likely to change the estimate. Very low quality: We are very uncertain about the estimate.

1 Small sample size n=81, 95% CI includes no effect.

2 Possible publication bias.

3 Small sample size n=86, 95% CI includes no effect.

4 Possible publication bias.

5 Allocation concealment not described in 2 studies.

6 Small sample size n=126.

7 Possible Publication bias.

8 Allocation concealment not described in 2 studies.

9 Small sample size n=138.

10 Possible Publication bias.

11 Small sample size n=126.

12 Possible publication bias.

13 Small sample size n=138.

14 Possible publication bias.

15 Small sample size n=176.

16 Possible publication bias.

Mugambi et al.

Mugambi et al. Nutrition Journal 2012 11:81   doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-81

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