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The Bump: New Study Finds 9 Out of 10 Newborns Are Born With Gut Deficiency

The Bump

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A new study published in Scientific Reports has found that approximately nine out of 10 infants are born with gut microbiome deficiencies.

The study is the largest to date to look at the widespread deficiency. It looked at fecal samples from 227 babies under 6 months old during their pediatrician visits in the states of California, Georgia, Oregon, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. They looked at both the bacteria type present and how much of it there was to determine an infant’s bacterial composition. They also specifically looked at the bacteria’s ability to fully use the breast milk consumed by baby. According to the report, this is a sign of the presence of health-promoting bacteria in the gut.

In particular, the study called out the absence of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis) in the babies’ gut, a type of bacteria that plays a big role in infant health and development of the immune system. It provides the most benefits to infant gut health and has the ability to fully access the nutritional benefits of breast milk, doing so by breaking down the carbs found in breast milk so that baby’s body can access them.

“The vast majority of infants are deficient in this key gut bacterium from the earliest weeks of life, and this is completely off the radar for most parents and pediatricians, alike” study co-author Karl Sylvester, MD, Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics and Associate Dean of Maternal Child Health Research, Stanford University, said in a press release. “This study provides the clearest picture to date of just how widespread this issue is and highlights the need to address B. infantis deficiency in the infant gut right from the start.”

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