Menu

Breast Milk Contributes Significantly to Babies' Bacteria

Thirty percent of bacteria found in babies' guts came from mothers' milk, a study finds.

May 10, 2017
Ashley P. Taylor

PIXABAY, WERBEFABRIKThe importance of delivery method for the development of babies’ gut bacteria has come into question in recent months. A new study from University of California, Los Angeles, reports how another aspect of newborn life influences the nascent gut microbiome: breastfeeding. The study, published Monday (May 8) in JAMA Pediatrics, found that 30 percent of babies’ gut bacteria seem to come from the mother’s breast milk and that another 10 percent can be traced to skin around the mother’s nipple.

“Breast milk is this amazing liquid that, through millions of years of evolution, has evolved to make babies healthy, particularly their immune systems,” UCLA’s Grace Aldrovandi, the study’s lead author, said in a press release. “Our research identifies a new mechanism that contributes to building stronger, healthier babies.”

In 107 mother-infant pairs, the study examined the microbial content of the mother’s milk, the skin around the mother’s nipple, and the baby’s stool, whose bacteria represent those of the gut. As Reuters reported, the bacteria in infants’ poop were more similar to the microbes from their own mothers than those from other mothers in the study, suggesting that the bacteria are transferred from mother to child through breastfeeding.

See “The Maternal Microbiome

This study did not examine baby health. However, previous research indicates that breastfeeding wards against obesity and aids immune-system development. Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months because it is associated with a reduced risk of ear and respiratory infections, allergies, diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome, Reuters noted.

“We’ve always assumed that most of these microbes come from the mother,” University of Minnesota gastroenterologist Alexander Khoruts told Reuters. “They found that breastfeeding is the major source of microbial transfer during the early months of life, and I think the study provides supportive evidence for the current recommendations of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding to 12 months.”

September 2018

The Muscle Issue

The dynamic tissue reveals its secrets

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress, a Folsom, California based leading supplier of human biospecimens, announces the release of frozen Peripheral Blood Leukopaks. Leukopaks provide an enriched source of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with low granulocyte and red blood cells that can be used in a variety of downstream cell-based applications.

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

Vector Laboratories, a leader in the development and manufacture of labeling and detection reagents for biomedical research, introduces VECTASHIELD® Vibrance™ – antifade mounting media that delivers significant improvements to the immunofluorescence workflow.

Enabling Genomics-Guided Precision Medicine

Enabling Genomics-Guided Precision Medicine

Download this eBook from Qiagen to learn more about the promise of precision medicine and how QCITM Interpret can help deliver better care with better knowledge.

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Download this white paper from Bertin Technologies to learn how to extract and analyze lipid samples from various models!