The studies show that the bacteria in the baby’s gut have an important role in strengthening the body response to allergies.
Christine Cole Johnson, one of the researchers involved in the studies and a scientist at the Henry Ford Hospital’s department of public health sciences, explained that the recent findings add to the “hygiene hypothesis” medical theory which says that if a child is exposed to bacteria from an early age, it can help the immune system fight against the development of allergic reactions.
Dr. Cole Johnson explains that an important role is played by the gut microbiome, which si the collection of microorganisms that live in the gastrointestinal tract.
The human body hosts billions of such microbes. According to the medical experts, the human gastrointestinal tract contains an entire bacterial ecosystem.
The gut microbiome is very important in the development of our immune system and scientists believe it contributes to a host of diseases such as obesity, circulating disorders, autoimmune diseases and certain children allergies and infections.
Exposing the baby to the bacteria and microorganisms in its first months of life can actually help stimulate and the immune system.
According to Dr. Johnson, the new studies have shown that an exposure to a more diverse environmental bacteria and gut bacteria can boost the ability of the immune system to fight against asthma and allergies.
She adds that the human immune system was designed to be exposed to bacteria because otherwise, if the exposure is minimized, the immune system cannot develop at its maximum capacity.
The researchers analyzed the findings from six different studies which proved the influence breastfeeding has on the microbiome from the babies’ guts.
The team found that the gut bacteria of babies who were breastfed, at one and six months, were very different from that of children who were not breastfed.
The studies revealed that babies who were breastfed had a lower risk of developing animal allergies at the age of 1 month.
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