Every day I get parents asking me how they can take a proactive approach to their child’s health and I immediately think about their gut health.
You see, 80 percent of the immune system is situated in the gut, including the trillions of gut bacteria that directly influence the development and function of the immune system. If you have more good bacteria living in the gut, the bad bacteria aren’t able to thrive and vice versa. Sometimes an abundance of bad bacteria can manifest into short-term conditions such as bad gas, colic and diaper rash. Other times it can lead to eczema, allergies, asthma, obesity and diabetes.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have been making headway in understanding the infant gut microbiome, which is the collection of microorganisms, like bacteria, that live in the gut. Specifically, they have studied a type of good bacteria called B. infantis that is particularly important in the infant gut, and involved in proper immune development during the first 6 months of life. Without B. infantis in the infant gut, bad bacteria are able to thrive and lead to conditions like gas, colic, diaper rash, eczema, allergies and even obesity down the road.
B. infantis is naturally transferred from mom to baby during vaginal delivery. However, as an unintentional consequence of modern medical practices, like antibiotics and C-sections, the transfer of B. infantis from mom to baby during the birthing process has been interrupted. As a result, it is estimated that 9 out of 10 babies born today don’t naturally have B. infantis in their gut to fight off bad bacteria and allow for proper immune development.
In recent clinical studies, the University of California researchers have shown that by feeding newborns the baby probiotic Evivo, which only contains B. infantis, you can reduce bad bacteria in baby’s gut by 80 percent and reduce intestinal inflammation by up to 98 percent. High levels of intestinal inflammation in early life is predictive of asthma and eczema by age six.
Additionally, only the strain of B. infantis in Evivo was found to reduce the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in the gut of breastfed newborns. Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the biggest threats to global health by the World Health Organization, due to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Because of this, I always caution parents not to pressure their pediatrician for an antibiotic and instead, take a “wait and see” approach when possible. Sometimes through careful monitoring you will find that antibiotics aren’t needed after all.
As we continue to learn more about the gut microbiome and its connection to overall health, I’m a firm believer in the ability of probiotics to make a big impact on health when used appropriately. Evivo is my go-to when recommending probiotics for babies. It’s cold-shipped and comes in a powder form that can be mixed with breast milk or whatever you are feeding your baby.
If you have any questions about your baby’s gut health be sure to ask your pediatrician about the latest science and how probiotics may work for them.
**This blog was written in partnership with Evivo® baby probiotic