The findings of a new study have yet again, shed light on the importance of breastfeeding for babies- it has been found that it plays a role in several factors that influence the bacteria in the digestive system to boost immunity. What’s more, the researchers have also found that breastfeeding could help protect babies again many common allergies.
The research team conducted 6 studies on gut bacteria in babies, and found that the difference in gut bacteria may be due to several factors- the race/ethnicity of the mother, tobacco exposure before and after birth, the time spent in the womb and also the presence of pets at home.
“For years now, we’ve always thought that a sterile environment was not good for babies. Our research shows why. Exposure to these microorganisms, or bacteria, in the first few months after birth actually help stimulate the immune system,” the researchers said.
The immune system of humans is designed in a way to be exposed to bacteria at a grand scale, and this exposure does play a role in determining the strength of the immune system of the individual. If the babies are exposed to many different bacteria in the early years, their immune system will naturally function in a much better way as opposed to those who have limited bacteria exposure.
The researchers found that the gut bacteria present in breastfed babies were much different compared to those who weren’t breastfed, probably pointing out to better immunity.
The findings of this study were presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual meeting in Houston on Saturday.