New study confirms breastfeeding is best; boosts babies’ immune system with distinct gut bacteria.

breast1A compilation of studies presented by the Henry Ford Hospital at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Houston determined that breastfeeding affects the baby’s immune system and impacts on the composition of .

The findings confirm the early hygiene hypothesis based on the theory that to affects the immune system’s development and onset of allergies.

The researchers used six studies to evaluate whether breastfeeding and maternal and birth factors had any effect on a baby’s gut microbiome and allergic and asthma outcomes. Stool samples of infants taken at one month and six months after birth was used to investigate whether the gut microbiome impacted the development of regulatory T-cells, or Treg, which are known to regulate the immune system.

The study findings revealed the following:
• Breastfed babies at one month and six months had distinct microbiome compositions compared to non-breastfed babies. These distinct compositions may influence immune system development.
• Breastfed babies at one month were at decreased of developing allergies to pets.
• Asthmatic children who had nighttime coughing or flare-ups had a distinct microbiome composition during the first year of life.
• For the first time, gut microbiome composition was shown to be associated with increasing Treg cells.
Researchers found that a baby’s gut microbiome patterns vary by:
• A mother’s race/ethnicity.
• A baby’s gestational age at birth.
• Prenatal and postnatal exposure to tobacco smoke.
• Caesarean section versus vaginal delivery.
of pets in the home.

“For years now, we’ve always thought that a sterile environment was not good for babies. Our shows why. Exposure to these , or bacteria, in the first few months after birth actually help stimulate the immune system,” said Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, chair of Henry Ford’s Department of Sciences and principal investigator. “The immune system is designed to be exposed to bacteria on a grand scale. If you minimize those exposures, the immune system won’t develop optimally.”
“The is telling us that exposure to a higher and more diverse burden of environmental bacteria and specific patterns of appear to boost the immune system’s protection against allergies and asthma,” said Dr. Johnson.


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