Health benefits of yogurt among infants and toddlers aged 4 to 24 months: A systematic review

Sharon M Donovan, Goutham Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Context: Health benefits of yogurt are well documented in adults and older children, but less is known about the effects of yogurt in infants and toddlers (aged 4 to 24 months). Objective: The aim of this qualitative systematic review was to assess the effects of yogurt and fermented milk products on the health of infants and toddlers. Data Sources: PubMed was searched for English-language papers. No date restrictions were applied. Study Selection: Randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and prospective cohort studies were included. Systematic or narrative reviews, conference abstracts, and dissertations were excluded. In total, 1624 abstracts were screened, of which 1614 were excluded. Data Extraction: Full texts of the remaining 10 abstracts were independently reviewed by both authors, who reached consensus about relevance, methods, findings, quality, and conclusions of the included studies. Results: The included studies (published between 1987 and 2017) were heterogeneous with respect to sample size, study population, and type of yogurt used. Five of six studies showed a positive effect of yogurt consumption on infectious diarrhea. Two studies reported a positive effect on gut microbiota composition. Two cohort studies reported a positive effect on reducing the incidence of atopic dermatitis, one of which also reported a positive impact on food sensitivity. Conclusions: Published evidence, much of it decades old, supports a health benefit of yogurt consumption in infants and children. New short- and long-term studies are needed to better evaluate the impact of yogurt consumption in contemporary settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-486
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition reviews
Volume77
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Yogurt
Insurance Benefits
Cohort Studies
Cultured Milk Products
Information Storage and Retrieval
Atopic Dermatitis
PubMed
Sample Size
Observational Studies
Diarrhea
Consensus
Language
Randomized Controlled Trials
Prospective Studies
Food
Incidence
Population

Keywords

  • Complementary feeding
  • Fermented foods
  • Infant
  • Toddler
  • Yogurt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Health benefits of yogurt among infants and toddlers aged 4 to 24 months : A systematic review. / Donovan, Sharon M; Rao, Goutham.

In: Nutrition reviews, Vol. 77, No. 7, 01.01.2019, p. 478-486.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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