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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Development of healthy gut microbiota early in life

Erika Isolauri
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2012, 48 Suppl 3: 1-6
22681492
A healthy intestinal microbiota profile in early life is related to health later in life. An aberrant composition is associated with risks of systemic problems, such as obesity, diabetes and allergic diseases, including asthma and enteric inflammatory conditions, sometimes manifesting at 7 years of age. A healthy and balanced gut microbiota profile in infancy, especially with regard to bifidobacteria, is directly related to mode of delivery (natural birth) and quality of breast milk, which in turn is affected by the mother's own systemic health and nutritional status. Pregnant women of normal body weight and healthy microbiota profiles, both gut microbiota and breast milk microbiota, have greater opportunities to pass on compounds, antigens modified by the mother's gut and other agents that promote the development of a healthy immune system in the breastfed infant.

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