Our understanding of how the gut microbiota influences our health has increased exponentially in recent years. Once mature, our gut microbiota is relatively stable throughout adulthood. However, factors such as large spectrum antibiotic therapy, large shifts in dietary patterns and/or lifestyle habits, or metabolic diseases may compromise its equilibrium.
The intestinal microbiota is acquired in the first moments of life to achieve a stable status, similar to that of an adult, typically by the age of 3 years. This demonstrates the importance of the first colonization of our gut by microorganisms.
Factors influencing infant gut microbiota
Exposure to bacteria that result in a ‘non-healthy’ microbiome, or disturbances during infancy, may have significant health consequences later in life. Researchers have demonstrated that mother’s diet and lifestyle likely have an influence on the gut microbiota on their infants. It appears that the interaction between microbiome and infant begins early in life (during pregnancy).
As a conclusion, these observations highlight the importance of the first moments of life and corresponding impact on bacterial colonization.
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