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Tag: nutrition

What does a healthy infant gut microbiome look like?

As diet and the microbiome are closely entwined, the first step in understanding a healthy infant gut microbiome is to understand a healthy infant diet. Fortunately, a healthy infant diet is at least superficially simple to define, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is the best nutrition for infants according to the World Health Organisation. A common alternative to human breast milk for infants is formula and the microbiomes of breastfed and formula fed infants are known to differ.

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Fermented Food as Probiotics: Health Perceptions and Research

As a microbiologist in the field of probiotics, I am often asked, “Will probiotics improve my health?” I always give the same answer: studies show specific benefits of probiotics for certain conditions, but there is not conclusive evidence that they will improve health for an already healthy person.

I know this is an unsatisfying answer. It is a careful answer and one that relies on the tenets of scientific research – large samples sizes, causation over correlation and repetition of experimental results. At this point, I cannot say with confidence that research supports the idea that ingesting a certain probiotic can make you a healthier person.

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