3 questions to learn if your baby's gut is healthy.
Every parent celebrates a healthy baby who’s gaining weight and thriving, but new science suggests ways that we can also be thinking about internal milestones and how they might affect our babies for their entire lives.
While the gut microbiome isn’t typically top of mind for many parents, it should be! Scientists are now discovering that the link between overall health and a healthy gut microbiome is much closer than previously thought. It’s now believed many short- and long-term health conditions such as colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes, and obesity are linked, at least in part, to a disruption in the development of the gut microbiome. As we look at the high rates of these health issues, it’s becoming more apparent that we must work from the inside out to ensure the optimal health of our little ones.
Once upon a time, B. infantis, a beneficial gut bacteria was passed from mom to baby during the natural birthing process, but today, it rarely happens. Nine out of 10 babies in the U.S. are missing B. infantis due to the unintentional consequences of generations of modern medical practices like antibiotics and C-sections. There’s no arguing that advancements in medical technology save lives, but in this case, they have also disrupted the naturally protective environment in the gut.
It’s important for parents to know that when the gut microbiome is disrupted, it correlates to higher cases of eczema, allergies, diabetes, and obesity. In many developing countries around the world, where B. infantis still dominates the infant gut, we see fewer cases of eczema, allergies, diabetes and so on. Of course, in a perfect world, we’d have it both ways: the aid of modern medicine and the benefits of the passage of good gut bacteria from mom to baby.
Now, with new discoveries in infant gut health, there is a way to have the best of both worlds.
I’m a big believer in probiotics and their ability to aide a healthy gut and improve digestion and potentially the immune system. This is why I am so excited about Evivo--activated B. infantis. Evivo the only baby probiotic clinically proven to reduce harmful bacteria by restoring B. infantis to baby’s gut microbiome. In a clinical trial led by the University of California, Davis Medical Center, babies given Evivo showed an 80% reduction in potentially harmful bacteria such as E.coli, Clostridia, Staph, and Strep. It gives good bacteria the foothold it needs to protect the gut and properly develop baby’s immune system and metabolism.
Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP is a working mother and UCLA-trained pediatrician who practices in Southern California. Dr. Tanya is an American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson, approved by the national physician organization to communicate complicated medical issues into easily understood concepts.
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Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) are special carbohydrates that are food for baby’s gut bacteria. One key beneficial bacteria, B. infantis, is unique and able to capture all these carbohydrates that might otherwise be wasted, consuming them fully allowing B. infantis to grow and protect baby’s gut, and convert them into essential nutrients that are critical for baby’s developing metabolism and immune system.
Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria that help keep your gut microbiome healthy. Historically, probiotics have been taken with the hope to relieve symptoms such as gas, bloating, or other digestive issues. However, new research has found that gut health is connected to other conditions such as colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes, and obesity and may have a much larger impact on overall health, beyond only symptomatic relief.
Prebiotics are carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the human body. Instead, they are ‘food’ for the gut microbiome. For babies, the most important prebiotics are found in breast milk and are called Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs). HMOs are the third most abundant nutrient in breast milk and are critical to ‘feed’ good bacteria in baby’s gut.
A gut microbiome is a collection of trillions of microorganisms, or bacteria, that live in our intestines, or gut.
By nature’s design, beneficial and protective bacteria are passed from mom to baby during the birthing process, creating baby’s unique gut microbiome. However, the unintended consequences of modern medical practices such as antibiotics, c-sections, and formula feeding have led to a decrease in this mom to baby transfer.
In collaboration with the University of California Medical Center, we completed a clinical trial in which breast fed babies were given Evivo once a day for a month and were compared to breast fed babies who didn’t receive any probiotic. After a month, Evivo babies had significantly higher levels of the key good bacteria, B. infantis, in their gut compared to babies who didn’t receive any Evivo. This good bacteria is critical for proper immune system and metabolic development during the first six months of life.