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Evaluation of 2’-Fucosyllactose and Bifidobacterium longum Subspecies infantis on Growth, Organ Weights, and Intestinal Development of Piglets

  • 2021-12-31
  • Nutrients 14(1)
    • V. Daniels
    • M. Monaco
    • Mei Wang
    • J. Hirvonen
    • H. Jensen
    • A. Ouwehand
    • R. Mukherjea
    • R. Dilger
    • S. Donovan


Human milk is rich in oligosaccharides that influence intestinal development and serve as prebiotics for the infant gut microbiota. Probiotics and 2'-fucosyllactose (2'-FL) added individually to infant formula have been shown to influence infant development, but less is known about the effects of their synbiotic administration. Herein, the impact of formula supplementation with 2'-fucosyllactose (2'-FL) and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis Bi-26 (Bi-26), or 2'-FL + Bi-26 on weight gain, organ weights, and intestinal development in piglets was investigated. Two-day-old piglets (n = 53) were randomized in a 2 × 2 design to be fed a commercial milk replacer ad libitum without (CON) or with 1.0 g/L 2'-FL. Piglets in each diet were further randomized to receive either glycerol stock alone or Bi-26 (109 CFU) orally once daily. Body weights and food intake were monitored from postnatal day (PND) 2 to 33/34. On PND 34/35, animals were euthanized and intestine, liver and brain weights were assessed. Intestinal samples were collected for morphological analyses and measurement of disaccharidase activity. Dry matter of cecum and colon contents and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis abundance by RT-PCR were also measured. All diets were well tolerated, and formula intake did not differ among the treatment groups. Daily body weights were affected by 2'-FL, Bi-26, and day, but no interaction was observed. There was a trend (p = 0.075) for greater total body weight gain in CON versus all other groups. Jejunal and ascending colon histomorphology were unaffected by treatment; however, there were main effects of 2'-FL to increase (p = 0.040) and Bi-26 to decrease (p = 0.001) ileal crypt depth. The addition of 2'-FL and/or Bi-26 to milk replacer supported piglet growth with no detrimental effects on body and organ weights, or intestinal structure and function.

Keywords: 2’-fucosyllactose; B infantis Bi-26; human milk oligosaccharides; intestine.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bifidobacterium infantis Bi-26Reduced Crypt DepthNeutral

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