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Can Synbiotic Use Effect Gut Bacteria and the Immune Response in Older People

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01226212
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 22, 2010
Last Update Posted : May 3, 2013
Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government
Information provided by:
University of Dundee

Brief Summary:
The objectives of this study are to use a nutritional change in the diet to improve gut health in older people. Ageing can result in major changes in the composition and activities of the bacteria in your gut, leading to a higher incidence of gastrointestinal infections, decreased intestinal motility and impaired bowel function as people get older. This can result in constipation or diarrhoea, increased levels of inflammation and reduced immune response to infection. Therefore, individuals aged 65 or over could benefit from safe and effective interventions that maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria as well as restoring the immune response. Bacteria in the gut are known to promote health. Eating foods containing beneficial bacteria for example (probiotics) or food which contain substrates for the bacteria to grow on (prebiotics) can improve the balance of gut bacteria. The investigators will use a synbiotic with known anti-inflammatory properties, comprising a probiotic Bifidobacterium longum strain and inulin (Synergy 1), The synbiotic has been previously shown to be beneficial in reducing inflammation and to increase levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut in two studies in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The investigators would now for these reasons, like to determine the effects of our Synbiotic on the gut bacteria and immune function of older individuals in a double-blinded, crossover, placebo controlled, randomised investigation involving 40 volunteers for three months. The trial is designed so that participants will be assigned to receive the Synbiotic preparation or the placebo for the first four weeks, this will be followed by four weeks without treatment, and then they will switch to the opposite preparation for another four weeks.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Aging Dietary Supplement: Synbiotic (Synergy 1/B. longum) Dietary Supplement: Placebo Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 49 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Can Synbiotic Use Improve Dysbiosis in the Gut Microbiome and Modify Inflammatory Processes in Older People
Study Start Date : November 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2012
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2012

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Synbiotic
Synbiotic (Synergy 1/B. longum)
Dietary Supplement: Synbiotic (Synergy 1/B. longum)
Combination of a prebiotic Synergy 1 and a probiotic Bifidobacterium longum

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Dietary Supplement: Placebo

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Increase in levels of faecal bifidobacteria [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Improvement in inflammatory markers linked to ageing [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]
  2. Improvement in bowel habit and quality of life [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]
  3. Reduction of genotoxic potential [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   65 Years to 90 Years   (Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 65-90 years
  • BMI 18.5-30.0 kg m2.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • asplenia and other acquired or congenital immunodeficiencies
  • any autoimmune disease
  • connective tissue diseases
  • self-reported symptoms of acute or recent infection (including use of antibiotics within the previous 3 months)
  • taking probiotics or prebiotics, including lactulose for constipation
  • chronic gastrointestinal problems (e.g. Inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer)
  • use of immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory drugs.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01226212

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United Kingdom
Department of Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School
Dundee, Tayside, United Kingdom, DD1 9SY
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Dundee
Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government
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Principal Investigator: George Macfarlane, PhD University of Dundee

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Professor George Macfarlane, University of Dundee Identifier: NCT01226212    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2010GA03
Funder ( Other Grant/Funding Number: Chief Scientist Office ETM66 )
First Posted: October 22, 2010    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 3, 2013
Last Verified: April 2013
Keywords provided by University of Dundee:
Older people
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Anti-Infective Agents
Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary
Renal Agents
Antiprotozoal Agents
Antiparasitic Agents