Research provides clues as to how gut microbiota affect infant health

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1017 (Published 14 February 2013)
Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1017

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  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

Two studies provide new information on how gut microbiota may contribute to the overall health of infants and why a melamine contaminant in pet food, milk, and formula has proved so deadly to some.

A study in the journal of the Canadian Medical Association found significant differences in the commensal bacterial population of healthy infants at four months, depending on whether they were delivered naturally or by caesarean section and whether they were breast or bottle fed.1

The small but intensely studied sequential sample of 24 healthy term infants for whom a stool sample was available was conducted as part of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) …

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