Breastfeeding Helps Children Grow Friendly Gut Bacteria
The presence of lactic acid bacteria in intestinal flora is important for the healthy development of the immune system in children’s early years. Now, a Danish study that tracked over 300 children in their first 3 years of life, found that longer breastfeeding encouraged lactic acid bacteria to flourish in their guts for longer.
The study, led by the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU-Food) in Søborg, is published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Previous studies have shown that breastfed babies tend to be a little slimmer and grow more slowly than formula-fed infants. Breastfeeding has also been linked to lower risk of obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and allergies later in life.
The new study suggests these effects may be the result of breastfeeding encouraging the development of friendly bacteria in the baby’s gut.
Senior author Tine Rask Licht, professor and research manager at DTU-Food, says:
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