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Your baby's gut microbes can influence the development of food allergies

Updated: Mar 22, 2021




A generation ago food allergies were rare. Now- they are everywhere! ⁣


Did you know that whether a child develops allergies or not can depend on the composition of bacteria that live inside his/her gut?⁣ All the good bacteria that start making a home in the baby’s gut from birth and onwards have many important functions. One of them is to educate the immune system. ⁣


All the good bacteria that start making a home in the baby’s gut from birth and onwards have many important functions.

⁣The main problem is that our gut microbiota is becoming less diverse and we are loosing important species needed for our our immune systems to develop normally. ⁣


Unfortunately there’s no quick fix. The loss of important microbes has been happening over the past decades. As our world has become more modern we have changed the way we live and eat, and grow our food. We sanitize, disinfect, overuse antibiotics and other medications. And remember: These are global changes that are happening that affect all of us! (Even if you did everything “right” your child can still develop allergies)⁣


Are there ways to improve the gut microbiota composition in your baby? Here’s some practical tip:⁣

  • * If possible, choose breastmilk over formula. Even if you´re not able to breastfeed exclusively, some will do as well. Aim to breastfeed your baby til 1 year of age or longer⁣

  • * When you start weaning, incorporate a number of vegetables, fruit and whole grains, seeds and nuts. Studies show that the amount of variety of fiber-rich food in the first year of life determines a good gut microbiota composition and reduces the risk of developing allergies⁣

  • * Limit the amount of store-bought, preprocessed baby foods. The emulsifiers they contain can interfere with your baby´s healthy gut microbiome development. This has been gaining more attention recently. Aim to give foods in its “real” form. ⁣


What about probiotics? ⁣


Although some studies suggest they might have an effect, the overwhelming evidence does unfortunately not support its use in preventing allergies. Hopefully one day this might provide a good solution. Until then, you’re better off “feeding” your gut microbes with the food they like.

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