Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Infant Feeding, Gut Permeability, and Gut Inflammation Markers.

OBJECTIVES: Increased gut permeability and gut inflammation have been linked to the development of type 1 diabetes. Little is known on whether and how intake of different foods is linked to these mechanisms in infancy. We investigated whether the amount of breast milk and intake of other foods are associated with gut inflammation marker concentrations and permeability.

METHODS: Seventy-three infants were followed from birth to 12 months of age. Their diet was assessed with structured questionnaires and 3-day weighed food records at the age of 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Gut permeability was assessed with the lactulose/mannitol test and fecal calprotectin and human β-defensin-2 (HBD-2) concentrations were analyzed from stool samples at the age of 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. The associations between foods and gut inflammation marker concentrations and permeability were analyzed using generalized estimating equations.

RESULTS: Gut permeability and gut inflammation marker concentrations decreased during the first year of life. Intake of hydrolyzed infant formula ( P = 0.003) and intake of fruits and juices ( P = 0.001) were associated with lower intestinal permeability. Intake of fruits and juices ( P < 0.001), vegetables ( P < 0.001), and oats ( P = 0.003) were associated with lower concentrations of HBD-2. Higher intake of breast milk was associated with higher fecal calprotectin concentrations ( P < 0.001), while intake of fruits and juices ( P < 0.001), vegetables ( P < 0.001), and potatoes ( P = 0.007) were associated with lower calprotectin concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher intake of breast milk may contribute to higher calprotectin concentration, whereas several complementary foods may decrease gut permeability and concentrations of calprotectin and HBD-2 in infant gut.

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