Gut Talk Series: The gut microbiome of preterm infant
Nutrition and maintenance of gut health are key challenging aspects to support healthy growth of preterm infants. It is crucial to try as much as possible to meet the very large nutritional needs of these infants and at the same time maintain the infant gut healthy avoiding necrotizes enterocolitis (NEC). It is believed today that a healthy gut microbiome on preterm infants may be one of the multiple factors that help not only to reduce the risk of NEC and sepsis, but also to improve feed tolerance. Types of feeding can impact differently the gut microbiome, with human milk playing essential role. Research has been indicating that nutrition strategies such as probiotics and human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) can play a potential role modulating the gut microbiome, but more studies about specific strains, specific HMOs and their dosages are still needed.