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[News release] The infant gut microbiome: New studies on its origins and how it’s knocked out of balance

The infant gut microbiome: New studies on its origins and how it’s knocked out of balance.

From the 15 May news release

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IMAGE: BÄCKHED ET AL. ASSESSED THE GUT MICROBIOMES OF 98 SWEDISH MOTHERS AND THEIR INFANTS DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF LIFE. CESSATION OF BREAST-FEEDING WAS IDENTIFIED AS A MAJOR FACTOR IN DETERMINING GUT MICROBIOTA MATURATION, WITH… view more 

CREDIT: BÄCKHED ET AL./CELL HOST & MICROBE2015

A fecal sample analysis of 98 Swedish infants over the first year of life found a connection between the development of a child’s gut microbiome and the way he or she is delivered. Babies born via C-section had gut bacteria that showed significantly less resemblance to their mothers compared to those that were delivered vaginally.

The study, which appears May 11 in Cell Host & Microbe‘s special issue on “The Host-Microbiota Balance,” also found nutrition to be a main driver of infant gut microbiome development–specifically the decision to breast-feed or bottle-feed.

“Our findings surprisingly demonstrated that cessation of breastfeeding, rather than introduction of solid foods, is the major driver in the development of an adult-like microbiota,” says lead study author Fredrik Bäckhed of The University of Gothenburg, Sweden. “However, the effect of an altered microbiome early in life on health and disease in adolescence and adulthood remains to be demonstrated.”

Gut bacteria are suspected to be a source of nutrients and vitamins for a growing infant. Our intestinal tenants are able to interact with normal cellular processes to, for example, produce essential amino acids. Understanding the role individual gut microbes play in metabolism, immunity, and even behavior is an active area of investigation.

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May 18, 2015 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , ,

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