Impact of maternal feeding on the neonatal microbiota

Published: 17/09/20 15:35 Categories: Molecular Biology

It is indisputable that proper nutrition during pregnancy is important for both the health of the mother and the baby, but the real impact that different components of the diet can have on the maternal microbiota and, consequently, on the neonate microbiota and on their short-to-medium-term health is still unknown.   


During pregnancy and lactation, mothers transfer the maternal microbiota tobabies, which is the set of bacteria that protect them from infectious diseases. The interesting thing about the recent study conducted by researchers from the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC), published in the journal Gut Microbiomes, is that they have identified different clusters of maternal microbiota that they have been able to associate with the mother's diet during pregnancy, and have also linked it to the neonate's gut microbiota and its growth in the first months of life. In the study, 86 mothers have participated with their babies from childbirth to the year and a half of age. In this work, faecal samples from mothers and babies were analyzed by mass sequencing techniques at the time of delivery to obtain the different profiles in the gut microbiota. Subsequently, diet data were collected during pregnancy, and infants were clinically monitored in the first 18 months of life, following World Health Organization(WHO) guidelines for longitudinal body mass index and weight by length.  



After analyzing all the parameters, they observed differences in the neonatal microbiota depending on the maternal diet and microbiota, and these differences hadan effect on child growth. In particular, they related the role of fiber, plant protein and omega-3 acids to a significant effect on the baby's microbiome, contributing to child development during the first few months of life, as well as to newborn health. 


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