The Nest 48: The role of nutrition in the development of early gut microbiome for lifelong health

Editor(s): Shaillay Kumar Dogra, Jose Saavedra , Nina Heppner, Guillermo Álvarez Calatayud.

The infant gut microbiome is a dynamic ecosystem that undergoes changes from birth until two to three years of age, followed by a gradual evolution towards an adult microbiome in later childhood. The early life microbiome trajectory is influenced by many factors with nutrition playing a crucial role. Dysbiosis in the first years of life is related to lifelong health consequences. Human milk oligosaccharides and probiotics have the potential to modulate the gut microbiome with consequent positive impact on reducing the risk of developing certain diseases.


Early Life Microbiome trajectory and its influencers

Author(s): Shaillay Kumar Dogra

The gut microbiome in infants evolves progressively towards an adult-like microbiome. It is believed that the early life microbiome (ELM) establishment has lasting consequences on lifelong health. ELM can be influenced by various factors such as mode of birth, feeding, diet, antibiotics or other factors that are linked to microbiome acquisition from mother, siblings, and environment.  Importantly, nutritional interventions can modulate the microbiome maturation towards the reference trajectory.

Microbiota Determinants in Early Life and Their Immunologic Health Consequences

Author(s): Jose Saavedra

The gut microbiota plays a major role in the development and function of immune protective mechanisms and immunomodulatory functions. Both cesarean section and lack of breastfeeding are associated with early life dysbiosis. The use of probiotics in early life have been shown to have a potential role in mitigating the dysbiosis resulting from these determining factors and its longer-term immune related consequences.

The effects of Human Milk Oligosaccharides on the Microbiome

Author(s): Nina Heppner

Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) serve as a substrate for bacteria in the gut and thus modulate the developing infant’s microbiota. The presence or absence of specific HMOs in breast milk can have a direct impact on microbial composition and the risk for developing certain diseases. Adding even a few HMOs structurally identical to that in human milk to infant formula has been shown to shift the infant microbiota to a composition that is more similar to that of breastfed infants.

Role of Probiotics in Diarrhea

Author(s): Guillermo Álvarez Calatayud

The use of antibiotics in early life changes the gut microbiota with possible long-term health implications. Dysbiosis in infectious diarrhea or antibiotic associated diarrhea can be prevented and treated with the use of probiotics. The strain that has the greatest efficacy in both disorders is L. rhamnosus GG (LGG) as confirmed by major clinical practice guidelines...