Tag

Pregnancy

Browsing

When C-section born infants are given a cocktail of poo plus breast milk, their microbiomes look very similar to their vaginally-born counterparts. C-section-born infants have very different gut microbiomes than those born vaginally. Current research points to the hypothesis that these differences put C-section-born infants at a significantly higher risk for disease and less optimal overall health later in life. In a recent study, researchers orally administered small amounts of maternal fecal matter, mixed with breastmilk, to 7 C-section-born infants and found that their gut bacteria were transformed into a microbiome quite similar to those born vaginally. Cell Takeaway: While vaginal seeding (swabbing the mother’s vagina and administering the swab to the infant’s mouth) has shown minimal results in colonizing the C-section born infant’s gut microbiome, this method of FMT proves much more effective in colonizing the gut with beneficial microbes. This proof-of-concept study is the first of its kind…

This post was written by Michael Goran, PhD, and Emily Venutra, PhD, MPH, authors of the new book Sugarproof. Too much sugar can have broad effects on kids’ bodies and, as they discuss in their new book Sugarproof, kids can be more vulnerable to the harmful effects of too much sugar. Growing kids can have delicate digestive systems. Upset stomachs, aching tummies, and other maladies are hallmarks of childhood, and too much sugar may be a silent contributor to this problem. If your child is having frequent, unexplained tummy problems, one possibility is that they are reacting to excessive amounts of fructose and an inability to absorb it properly from the gut. Fructose is a part of regular white table sugar and also found in concentrated amounts in high fructose corn syrup, fruit juices, other fruit-based sugars like fruit juice concentrates, and agave syrup. In order to transfer glucose or…

C-section births significantly increase the risk of adulthood obesity and type 2 diabetes in female offspring. Researchers conducted a prospective study analyzing data in 33,226 mothers born between 1946 and 1954. Out of those analyzed, 1,089 women were born via C-section. In the cohort 36.6% of children born were found to have obesity and 6.1% were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in adulthood. Results found that adult women had a 46% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and an 11% higher risk of developing obesity when compared to adult women born vaginally. Adjusting for breastfeeding did not change the correlation of risk for obesity or diabetes. JAMA Network Open Takeaway: Scientists who conducted the research conclude that if these findings are replicated in subsequent studies, they point to an incredible need to decrease C-section birth rates. In the United States, the average C-section rate is approximately 30% – a…

Maternal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) mixtures are associated with lower IQ at the age of 7 in offspring. Previous studies have looked at the effects of single EDCs in children, and they have been linked to negative neurodevelopment outcomes. This latest study, published in the January of this year, looked at the impact of exposure to a mixture of EDCs (we are most often exposed to multiple EDCs at a time). The study included 718 mother-child pairs and measured 26 EDCs in the first trimester using blood and urine samples, then assessed IQ scores in offspring at age 7. Results showed that EDCs had the greatest impact on boys and resulted in significantly lower IQ scores at the age of 7. Probably one of the most concerning findings was that bisphenol F, the thought-to-be safe replacement for BPA, may not be any safer for children. Researchers plan to…

Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use in infants increases risk of infection in certain populations. PPI’s (as well as other acid blocking drugs) are commonly prescribed to infants who suffer from gastrointestinal upset and reflux. A recent study found a significantly increased rate of infection in infants who take PPIs and have regular CYP2C19 gene function – a gene that plays a role in processing and metabolizing some commonly prescribed drugs. The rate of infection was significantly increased in those infants compared to ones who have heightened CYP2C19 function. Pediatrics Takeaway: Researchers who conducted the study concluded that CYP2C19 function should be assessed when considering PPI therapy in infants. PPI and acid blocking drugs are commonly prescribed in infant populations, yet studies show they are both ineffective and unsafe – and this study proves more of the same. Unfortunately, parents are often given prescriptions for acid suppression medications – a particularly…

Cultivating a healthy microbiome plays a key role in preventing eczema. A review study looks at the effects of manipulating microbial health to prevent and treat eczema, specifically in infants. The study conducted analyses of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics (probiotics and prebiotics together) for eczema prevention. Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology  Results of the study show that scientific evidence supports supplementation with Lactobacillus strains prenatally, followed by long-term (greater than 6 months) postnatal supplementation in infants for eczema prevention. Long-term (greater than 6 months) postnatal prebiotic supplementation has also been successful for eczema prevention in formula-fed infants. Takeaway: Those infants at high risk for developing eczema react most readily to these preventative measures. It’s important to keep in mind that in order to reap the benefits from prebiotic and probiotic supplementation, both in the womb and post-delivery, maternal and infant nutrition is key. Microbiome-focused supplements are only as powerful…

Alterations in the gut microbiome during infancy are linked to allergies. In a recent study, scientists discover specific gut bacteria strains that act as protection, re-establishing food allergy tolerance. Nature Medicine The study collected fecal samples from 56 infants with allergies every 4 to 6 months and compared the microbial contents to the fecal microbiota of 98 infants without allergies. The healthy and allergic fecal microbiotas were then transferred to a group of mice allergic to eggs – one group of mice received the microbiota from the healthy infants and the other from the allergic infants. Those mice receiving the “healthy” microbiota were more protected against the egg allergy than those receiving the “allergic” microbiota. In addition, scientists identified 6 beneficial gut bacteria strains associated with food allergy protection from the Clostridiales and Bacteroidetes families, then administered an oral formulation of these strains to mice and infants. Those receiving the…

The placenta could be the surprising reason why so many women get autoimmune diseases – even in women who have never been pregnant. Women are diagnosed with 80% of all autoimmune diseases in the U.S. Humans in hunter-gatherer communities have an average of 8 to 12 children – a stark contrast to today’s U.S. average, which is less than 2 children. During these years of childbearing, the placenta sends signals to the immune system to weaken in order to prevent rejection of the fetus. This constant weakening of immunity could be dangerous for the mother, so it’s hypothesized that other aspects of the female immune system are programmed to ramp up during adulthood to compensate (women actually contain more immunity genes than men, possibly for this very reason). It’s possible that because our bodies have evolved to bear such large numbers of children over hundreds of thousands of years, the…

Does a microbiome exist in utero, or is the environment sterile up to the moment the baby exits the womb? This has been an area of much debate in the scientific community. While some studies show the intrauterine environment to be sterile, others have uncovered bacteria in the uterus and placenta, showing that an intrauterine microbiome does in fact exist. A new review study adds evidence to the idea that if colonized, the intrauterine environment is contaminated. Researchers of the study propose that maternal stress causes a disruption of bacteria in one region of the mother’s body – oral cavity, gut, or vagina – triggering the transfer of bacteria (or what scientists refer to as bacterial translocation) to the intrauterine environment. This transfer of bacteria, scientists believe, may trigger an immune (or inflammatory) response that leads to neurodevelopment insufficiencies in the fetus. Science Direct Takeaway: While we are far from uncovering the truth…

A significant difference exists between the fecal microbiota of hospital-born infants versus home-born infants, and the differences persist well into the first month of life. The study included 35 vaginally born, breast-fed neonates, 14 who were delivered at home and 21 who were delivered in the hospital. Eight maternal and infant feces samples were collected, as well as maternal vaginal swabs, throughout the study over a 28-day period. Hospital-born infants had lower more desirable Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus, and Lactobacillus, and higher less desirable Clostridium and Enterobacteriaceae, than home-born babies. At 1-month of age, hospital-born infants possessed greater pro-inflammatory gene expression in colonic epithelial cells. Scientific Reports →Takeaway: Researchers conclude that hospitalization during birth, whether because of perinatal interventions or the hospital environment, may affect the vaginal microbiome and the initial microbiota colonization of the newborn during labor and delivery. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consider making arrangements to deliver in a birthing center or…