A study has recently been published on the Effect of probiotics on stool characteristic of bottle-fed infants (1)
It was a small study of 49 healthy formula-fed infants aged 0-6 months. Infants were given a 14-day supply of probiotics including one of the probiotics in the Bravo product Lactobacillus plantarum.
The aim of the study was to determine whether the probiotic L. planetarium strain (nLp-nF1) was safe during the first 6 months of life. The secondary objective was to assess ifnF1 exposure correlated with changes in formula-fed infants’stool characteristics. There is a reported decline in breastfeeding and in South Korea, approximately 70% of all newborns are fed a commercial formula as their sole source of nutrition or as a supplement to breast milk.
The study refers to how common it is for many formula-fed infants to be switched from one formula to another because of perceived abnormalities in stooling patterns (too much/too little, too hard/too loose). Also, probiotics may have been recommended by a clinician or practitioner when there is thought to be a problem with the babies stool based.
The Bristol stool scale is a diagnostic medical tool designed to classify the form of human faeces into seven categories. It is used in both clinical and experimental fields. It is sometimes also referred to as the Bristol stool chart (BSC), Bristol stool form scale, or BSF scale.
The Bristol Stool Chart is used to help determine the persons intestinal health. The consistency of stool depends on how long it has spent in the colon. The longer it spends ‘in transit’, the more liquid is absorbed by the colon.
*picture from NHS Sutton Community Heath Services (3)
The results showed that after taking probiotics, Bristol Stool Scale 4-5 stool was reported from 23 to 37(p=0.018). In conclusion, by taking probiotics, the quality and quantity of stool improved according to the Bristol Stool Scale.