According to a study published in the journal Nature, breastfeeding plays a crucial role in providing good gut bacteria to babies until the age of two-and-a-half years with a little change after this point. The study found that this bacterium, Bifidobacterium, was abundant in breast milk that declined rapidly after breastfeeding stopped. It is one of the main bacteria used in probiotics, owing to its potential therapeutic properties. As per the researchers, targeting the nutrients in breast milk that encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the infant gut, or providing probiotic consists of Bifidobacterium; represent important avenues for future research aimed at restoring the beneficial properties of being breastfed when breast milk is not available.
In addition, once infants were accustomed, there was a rapid turnover in the bacterial community and a loss of most of this bacterium, replaced by bacteria within the firmcutes phyla, a kind of bacteria, as per the findings, because a diet without breast milk delivers different nutrients to the gut, this rapid turnover in the bacterial community is likely to be in response to the new food sources promoting the growth of a different community.
For the study, the team of researchers analysed 12,500 stool samples from 903 children, aged three to 46 months old. The findings revealed that microbiome composition and diversity changed over time in three distinct phases: the developmental phase, transitional phase and stable phase. In addition, vaginal birth was associated with a temporary increase in bacteroides bacteria.
Also, siblings, exposed to pets, geographical location were the factors in the differences between microbiome profiles. As per the researchers, the first few years of life are important for microbiome establishment. You are born with very few microbes, and microbial communities assemble on and in your body through those first years of your life.