The way we are born has life-long consequences.
Infants delivered by Caesarean-section (C-section) are more likely to develop immune and metabolic disorders such as asthma and obesity later in life. This can be attributed to the imbalance gut microbiota, in particular lack of exposure to beneficial bacteria (i.e. bifidobacteria) from vaginal delivery.
A unique synbiotic mixture of prebiotic oligosaccharides and probiotic Bifidobacterium breve M-16V in infant formula restored gut colonisation by bifidobacteria and supported healthy gut development in infants delivered by C-section, according to a study recently published Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.
The multi-country, double-blind study randomised 153 infants delivered by C-section to receive infant formula supplemented with either prebiotic or synbiotic or a non-supplemented control formula from birth to 4 months old.
The study finding confirms the delayed colonisation of bifidobacteria from the first days of life. By supplementing the infant formula with synbiotics (prebiotic scGOS/lcFOS* and probiotic B. breve M-16V) it compensates the bifidobacteria colonisation in C-section delivered infants. Infants in synbiotic group also showed a lower pH and a higher acetate levels in their stool samples compared with control group during early days of life, indicating that synbiotic supports healthy gut development in infants delivered through C-section.
“Synbiotic offer potential nutritional support for infants that have a compromised microbiome in early life, as shown in C-section delivered infants, a population at risk for developing non-communicable diseases (chronic diseases) later in life,” said Jan Knol, Professor of Intestinal Microbiology of Early Life in Wageningen University, one of the authors of the paper.
*Prebiotic consisted of short-chain galactooligosaccharides and long-chain fructooligosaccharides (scGOS/lcFOS, ratio 9:1 at 0.8 g/100 mL)
The full article can be accessed here
Prof Jan Knol was interviewed by a journalist from NutraIngredients (a website that provides the latest news to decision makers in the areas of supplements, health and nutrition) about the study and the article can be found here: Danone Nutricia study backs synbiotic to ‘normalise’ microbiota after C-section