You Only Have Until Two To Protect Your Child In This Vital Area

There is so much to think about in a young developing child, they grow so fast, and every phase has different needs.

One thing we know for sure, through empirical evidence, is that beginning with breastfeeding for our little ones is the best way to ensure a nutrient rich diet that can’t be beat.

The benefits extend even further than researchers have thought, with new attention to digestion’s smoking gun.

Science Daily reported:

A child has until the age of two-and-a-half to establish healthy gut bacteria — with little change after this point, new research has revealed.”

The prestigious Newcastle University in the United Kingdom conducted the research that was published in the journal Nature, providing one of the biggest clinical microbiome studies in babies that the medical community has ever seen.

Participants were pulled from the famous TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young) study, that looks to find the cause for type 1 diabetes in children.

A total of 903 children were used to see the presence of certain bacteria in the gut over three phases- “the developmental phase (3-14 months), transitional phase (15-30 months) and stable phase (31 months onwards).”

Some external factors that affected microbiome count was whether or not the children had siblings or pets. Where the children lived also seemed to affect profiles.

We could have guessed that some of those would have something to do with gut health, especially if your baby is one to crawl to the dog bowl and try things out.

Brothers have a particular interest in showing their younger siblings things that they couldn’t otherwise get their hands on, like bugs and dirt.

So, how do infants get introduced to good bacteria fresh out of the womb?

Co-lead by scientist Dr. Christopher Stewart, at Newcastle’s Institute of Cellular Medicine, it was found that the bacteria Bifidobacterium was “abundant in breast milk and declined rapidly after breastfeeding stopped”, according to Science Daily.

This shows how important breastfeeding is for an infant, getting a key bacteria vital for gut health, before they begin eating solid foods.

Probiotics, which many people use to help restore gut bacteria balance, has bifidobacterium in it.

This therapeutic bacteria is what babies are naturally getting in their daily diet created by our perfectly designed bodies.

Dr. Stewart reports on some of the long term benefits of starting a baby off breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding has long been understood to be good for infants and epidemiological evidence shows being breastfed early in life is associated with lower risk of many later life diseases, such as allergy and obesity.”

The research was not simply to inspire mothers to breastfeed, showing the short and long term advantages of such in your child’s gut, but to understand the exact components of breastmilk that makes it “liquid gold”, as many mothers call it.

In so doing, a more balanced and effective alternative can become available when breastfeeding is not an option.

Science Daily reports on Dr. Stewart’s aspirations for the study:

Targeting the nutrients in breast milk that encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the infant gut, or providing probiotic containing Bifidobacterium, represent important avenues for future research aimed at restoring the beneficial properties of being breastfed when breast milk is not available.”

Once breastfeeding ceased, it was almost immediate that most of the Bifidobacterium was lost, and replaced with Firmicutes phyla, a bacteria found in adults.

It shocked the researchers how fast the exchange took place, leading one to believe that breastfeeding past the commonly recommended one year time span would be beneficial to the child.

Remarkably, from this point on, the microbiome progressed quickly towards being stable, where the bacteria in the gut will potentially remain for the rest of that individual’s life.“, said Dr Stewart.

Gut health is when there is a balance between the trillions of good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract.

If the balance is off and the absence of good bacteria allows bad bacteria to flourish it can have negative consequences on your child.

Mind Body Green reports that poor gut health is “associated with obesity, malnutrition, irritable bowel disease, and neurological disorders.”

Kids already have so many trials to face in this world, we should do all we can as parents to not put any additional hurdles in front of their progress.

To begin, breastfeeding supplies tools the body needs for optimum functioning, making sure that essential nutrients are absorbed, as well as the slew of additional benefits breastfeeding offers.

If breastfeeding is not an option, then exploring probiotic supplements for your baby may help to keep the gut bacteria balance just right, like a performer on a tightrope.

Please let us know in the comments section if you have had any experience with good or bad gut health and what you did for it.

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