By Steven Townsend
Vanderbilt University 

Sugars in mother's milk help shape baby's microbiome and ward off infection

 


(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) While living in a mother’s womb, cushioned by amniotic fluid and protected from the outside world, babies have only minimal exposure to microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. Shortly after birth, a newborn’s collection of microorganisms – their microbiome – begins to develop as a succession of bacteria colonizes their gut.

A variety of factors, such as mode of delivery (cesarean or vaginal birth) and antibiotic use, influence this population of bact...



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