Alarming Increase In pH of Babies' Stool Indicates Loss of Critical Good Bacteria

Pediatrician with Evivo baby

3/7/2018 — A healthy gut microbiome is connected to everything from digestion to cognition to immunity and begins the day you are born. We now know that the balance of good and bad bacteria in your baby’s gut directly impacts the pH levels of their stool. In this paper, the authors used the pH of babies’ stool to track how the baby gut microbiome has changed over time.

First, the authors discovered a link between the type of bacteria in baby’s gut and the pH of their stool: high levels of Bifidobacterium, the critical good bacteria babies need for proper development of the immune system and metabolism, led to a lower fecal pH, while high levels of potentially harmful bacteria led to an elevated fecal pH. Next, using data previously reported on over 300 breastfed babies, the authors identified an alarming increase in fecal pH over the past 100 years in developed countries such as the US, indicating a loss of Bifidobacterium in the infant gut.

The authors concluded that several generations of formula feeding, antibiotic use, and C-section delivery have disrupted the baby gut microbiome, causing most babies born today to be missing the good bacteria Bifidobacterium. In its place, other potentially harmful bacteria are allowed to thrive, resulting in a dramatic increase in the pH of baby’s stool. The good news is that giving Evivo to babies in our previously published landmark clinical trial restored Bifidobacterium in the infant gut, and returned fecal pH to healthy historical levels.

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