Breastfeeding feeds your baby’s gut

One of the most important things Moms can do for the health of their newborn babies is to breastfeed them for as long as possible. Breast milk provides an ideal mix of fats, protein and vitamins, nearly all the nutrition your newborn baby needs from the get-go (with the possible exception of vitamin D).

New Moms should breastfeed their babies exclusively for at least six months, and in combination with solid food until age 1 at minimum, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Not only does breastfeeding provides babies the basic nutrition they need, it works to “seed” their developing gut microbiomes with the bacteria, giving them a natural boost to their immune systems that can protect them from disease.

A gut health boost

How much does breastfeeding really help your baby’s gut health? A recent JAMA Pediatrics study led by UCLA researchers tracked the health of 107 Moms and their babies, collecting samples of breast milk, stool samples from infants and skin swabs around the nipple for an entire year to find out.

Scientists learned that breast milk accounts for nearly 30 percent of the beneficial bacteria in a baby’s gut and an extra 10 percent from skin contact with a Mom’s breast.

Plus, the gut microbiomes of babies who were mostly breastfed were a little more diverse compared to infants who were breastfed less.

“We’re appreciating more and more how these bacterial communities, particularly in the intestine, help guard against the bad guys,” says Dr. Grace Aldrovandi, a professor of pediatrics and chief of infectious diseases at UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital, according to a press release.

“We know from animal model systems that if you get good bacteria in your gut early in life, you’re more likely to be healthy.”

What if you can’t breastfeed?

Despite the many benefits breastfeeding provides Moms and their babies, some health conditions require specific prescription drugs — not to forget chemotherapy for cancer treatments — that prevent women from doing it.

Plus, your baby may need an antibiotic to fight common infections, although you’ll want to guard against exposing their growing bodies too often to them.

Moms can still give their babies a gut healthy boost whether they can breastfeed or not with the help of multi-strain probiotics made just for them like EndoMune Junior.

Each dose of EndoMune Junior contains four strains of beneficial bacteria plus a prebiotic that can be easily sprinkled onto foods or added to liquids to protect and enhance their developing gut health.

infant allergies

Reverse infant milk allergies with probiotics

An estimated 2.5 percent of children under age 3 are allergic to cow’s milk. Overall, milk allergies are the most common food allergy for infants and small children, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).

Cow’s milk allergy symptoms can vary from mild to life-threatening, and should not be confused with lactose intolerance, a condition, while problematic, isn’t fatal.

Most young children eventually outgrow these allergies, according to FARE. Until then, medical experts recommend babies be fed hydrolyzed, casein-based formulas containing altered proteins that are easier and safer for their growing young systems. Moms must keep a vigilant eye on product labels to avoid milk-based ingredients too.

Concerns about milk allergies led scientists from the University of Chicago to find a safer treatment in probiotics, according to a study featured in The ISME Journal.

Researchers tested a probiotic formula containing the proprietary strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) by analyzing and comparing stool samples taken from healthy infants who consumed the probiotic formula and babies given the formula without the probiotic.

Babies with cow’s milk allergies had significantly different compositions of gut bacteria compared to healthy children, which may have had an influence on their development.

Overall, babies whose bodies responded to the probiotic formula had higher amounts of gut bacteria when compared to children who didn’t, developed a similar tolerance.

This tolerance is connected to specific bacterial strains that produce butyrate, a byproduct of the metabolization of fiber providing nourishment for colon lining cells and linked to cancer-fighting benefits.

“The ability to identify bacterial strains that could be used as novel therapeutics for treating food allergies is a fundamental advance,” said Dr. Jack Gilbert, Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Chicago and co-author of the study, according to a press release.

Another probiotic formulation containing a proprietary strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus was also responsible for providing a safe, long-term solution for treating peanut allergies earlier this year.

With all of this attention on probiotics, it may be just a matter of time before scientists test a non-proprietary strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus like the kind contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Junior to treat food allergies.

Despite the good news about probiotics treating infant food allergies, always consult with your doctor or pediatrician first so they can provide the proper course of action for your child’s specific health condition.

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