Birth style of the baby affects intestinal flora

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Caesarean section and bottle feeding increase the risk of later illnesses

Spontaneous delivery or Caesarean section, breast milk or substitute food - as different as childbirth and the food afterwards can be, so different are the effects of these two factors on the intestinal flora of the child: “Children who were born by Caesarean section have an increased risk of later illnesses like asthma, obesity, and type 1 diabetes, while breastfeeding is a variable means of protecting against these diseases and other disorders, ”said Meghan Azad of the University of Alberta, Edmonton’s Canadian scientists in an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal ( CMAJ).

As part of a large study, the Canadian research team examined the bacteria in the intestine of 24 babies aged three to four months, and then compared the results with the type of birth, diet and other factors such as taking medication - six of the children examined came born by Caesarean section, ten were given breast milk from the time of birth.

Caesarean section baby less microorganisms in the intestine
At the time of birth, a baby's intestine is still free of bacteria - which germs later colonize the digestive tract has a fundamental impact on health in later life, the scientists say. The investigation showed that the children born by Caesarean section had fewer microorganisms in the intestine than children who were born spontaneously, the variety of germs was less and bacteria of the genus Bacteroides were completely absent - however, according to Rob Knight from the University, the diversity was particularly lacking of Colorado in Boulder is particularly important: "Early interaction with beneficial bacteria trains the baby's immune system and is therefore crucial for the healthy shaping of the immune response and metabolism."

However, the study was also able to show clear connections with later health with regard to the type of food from the time of birth: Babies who were fed infant substitute food showed a particularly high level of germs, but there was also an increase in these germs the pathogen Clostridium difficile, which is said to be responsible, among other things, for intestinal diseases. The lower bacterial diversity in breastfed children, on the other hand, would bring the researchers more advantages here: "Breast milk, which is rich in prebiotics, promotes the colonization of useful bacteria and limits the colonization by harmful ones." (sb)

Also read:
Build up intestinal flora

Image: Alexandra H. /

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Video: Babys First Bacteria: When Does the Microbiome Begin?


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