In recent study published in Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the Society for Applied Microbiology stated that useful good bacteria arrives in babies’ digestive systems from their mother’s gut through her breast milk.
Research also confirms that breast milk can improve baby’s immune system and digestive power as well. The findings also explain on how babies acquire a growth of good bacteria and can also help to develop formula milk that more closely mimics nature.
“We are excited to find out that bacteria can actually travel from the mother’s gut to her breast milk,” said lead researcher Professor Christophe Lacroix at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH-Zurich, Switzerland.
The Zurich team found the same strains of Bifido bacterium breve and several types of Clostridium bacteria, which are important for colonic health, in breast milk, and maternal and/or neonatal faeces.
Strains found in breast milk may be involved in establishing a critical nutritional balance in the baby’s gut and may be important to prevent intestinal disorders.
“A healthy community of bacteria in the gut of both mother and baby is really important for baby’s gut health and immune system development,” Lacroix said.
“We’re not sure of the route the bacteria take from gut to breast milk but, we have used culture, isolation, sequencing and fingerprinting methods to confirm that they are definitely the same strains,” Lacroix said.
Future research will hopefully complete the picture of how bacteria are transferred from mother to neonate. With a more thorough knowledge, it can be decided which bacterial species will be most important as probiotics in formula, researchers said.