18-25 Segment 2: Babies and Their Gut Bacteria

RHJ 18-25 B

 

Children in the US are now more likely to develop asthma, allergies, and other diseases. One explanation for this trend could be the lack of good gut bacteria. Dr. Tanya Altmann, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Editor In Chief of the American Academy of Pediatrics parenting book series, explains more about the studies that have suggested this theory.

Research of baby excrement has found significant differences over the last 100 years, and it has also shown that nine of out ten babies don’t get the transfer of good bacteria from their mothers that they need to be healthy. This is largely a result of modern medical practices, such as birth by C-section or antibiotics during pregnancy. An imbalance or overgrowth of bad gut bacteria has been linked to several diseases later on in life.

Breast milk is often pointed to as the solution to these problems, but while it is considered the best nutrition for babies, it may not be able to solve this problem by itself. If the mother’s own gut bacteria are disrupted or imbalanced, the baby will not receive enough good gut bacteria from the mother. Furthermore, research shows that many babies have become incapable of processing good gut bacteria from breast milk and might need to take a probiotic supplement in order to extract all the nutrients.

Altmann also points out that while it is crucial for a baby to develop good gut bacteria in the first year of its life, the need for these bacteria is also important later on. Having a nutritious, whole food, high-fiber diet, supplemented with probiotics, will help people of all ages develop a balance of good microbiome in their guts.

To learn more about healthy gut bacteria in babies, visit the links below.

Guest:

  • Dr. Tanya Altmann, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Editor In Chief of American Academy of Pediatrics parenting book series

Links for more information:

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