Effects of Breastfeeding Examined On Offspring Gut Health

Dose-dependent relationship, even after introduction of solid foods
Dose-dependent relationship, even after introduction of solid foods

HealthDay News — Breastfeeding can seed good bacteria in an infant's digestive system, according to research published online May 8 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Grace Aldrovandi, MD, a professor of pediatrics and chief of infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles, Mattel Children's Hospital, and colleagues assessed 107 breastfeeding mother-infant pairs.

The investigators found that 27.7% of beneficial bacteria in a baby's intestinal tract come directly from the mother's milk, and 10.3% comes from areolar skin. The team also found that bacterial diversity and composition changes were associated with daily breast milk intake in a dose-dependent manner, a findings that persisted after introduction of solid foods. 

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"Our research identifies a new mechanism that contributes to building stronger, healthier babies," Aldrovandi said in a university news release.

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