Maintaining strong gut health is crucial for ensuring your overall well-being since the gut microbiota impacts nearly every process in your body– from the immune system and nervous system to mental health.
But, ensuring that babies develop a robust microbiome is critical since newborns enter the world nearly sterile. Then, the birthing process and exposure to new environments will introduce trillions of microbial cells to their gut, which is key for proper development.
Still, while gut health has been widely studied in full-term infants, the same cannot be said about premature babies.
So, a new study conducted by Newcastle University in England sought to understand the impact of probiotics on premature babies and actually found that personalized prescriptions are much more influential in the development of gut health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about fifteen million babies are born preterm every single year.
And ever since the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) recommended that probiotics be facilitated to premature babies two years ago, neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) worldwide have followed suit.
However, after examining the gut health of one hundred and twenty-three babies born before thirty-two weeks’ gestation, the researchers found that a one-size-fits-all approach to the microbiome is not ideal.
The team first used fecal samples from the babies and performed metagenomic sequencing. This allowed them to ascertain what bacteria species were present.
Then, the results were divided into three groups. The first group contained babies born prior to when probiotics were routinely used; the second included infants given the probiotic known as Infloran, and the third consisted of infants given the probiotic known as Labinic.
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