Posted 14th September 2018 by Jane Williams
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.
Posted 25th July 2018 by Jane Williams
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.