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Do you know everything there is to know about infant immune health?
New research is showing that a specific probiotic bacteria is key to restoring a baby’s gut to its protective, natural state and providing a foundation for life-long optimal health.
When babies are born they begin to acquire a collection of bacteria called the microbiome –trillions of microorganisms that co-exist in our bodies and live all over us, on our skin, nose, mouth, eyes and gastrointestinal tract, or gut. Research shows that the infant gut microbiome plays a critical role in healthy immune and metabolic development, as well as meeting babies’ dietary needs.
The bacteria in a baby’s microbiome are passed down from their mom at birth. For generations, one strain calledB. infantis dominated the infant gut. However, modern medical practices such as increased antibiotic use and C-sections have led to a microbial imbalance in the infant gut and a loss of this key bacteria. This imbalance has been associated with a range of chronic health issues including allergies, asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes and a host of immunological disorders.
Now, recently published data shows for the first time that supplementation with activated B. infantis can completely transform the gut environment in babies that are fed breast milk. Along with restoring a healthy gut microbiome, the study results show that the supplementation significantly reduced levels of potentially harmful bacteria linked to disease in infants born either through natural or C-section delivery.
Dr. Mark Underwood, Chief Pediatric Neonatologist at UC Davis joined me to discuss the study results and explain how the activated form of this beneficial bacteria can be helpful for babies.
“I think the most important thing is this understanding that the newborn period, the first six to 12 months of life, when babies are still developing their immune system, is probably the time when the composition of the intestinal bacteria really matters most,” explained Dr. Underwood.
He continued, “What we’re finding is that a variety of diseases that are increasing in developed countries, like obesity and diabetes, and allergies and eczema, and asthma, those seem to be linked to having more unhealthy bacteria and fewer healthy bacteria. So, it may be, and we hope to study this further, it may be that if we can increase the number of healthy bacteria early in life, we can provide some protection to that baby, even throughout the course of a lifetime, rather than just for the first few months or weeks of life.”
Take a listen.
Infant Immune Health
For more information, visit: www.evolvebiosystems.com
Infant Immune Health
Meet Our Guest
Mark A. Underwood MD, MAS, FAAP
Professor of Pediatrics; Chief, Division of Neonatology UC, Davis School of Medicine
Dr. Underwood received his medical training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas followed by pediatric residency training at UCLA. After 12 years as a pediatrician in Great Falls MT, he and his family went to New Zealand for a year where he provided pediatric care in underserved areas and consultations at the medical school in Hamilton. Upon returning to the U.S. he completed a fellowship in neonatology at UC Davis and then joined the faculty in 2006 and became the chief of the division of neonatology in 2014.
He loves working with parents, nurses, pharmacists and other specialists to provide the best care for infants. His research focuses predominantly on necrotizing enterocolitis, human milk and probiotics. This research includes clinical trials of probiotics and prebiotics in premature infants and studies of promising protective therapies in animal models of necrotizing enterocolitis and pulmonary hypertension. He also enjoys international collaborations and has taught courses to physicians, nurses, and birth attendants across Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.