Breastfeeding develops immune systems of babies

Breastfeeding develops immune systems of babies

Researchers from Henry Ford Hospital are reporting that breastfeeding develops immune systems of babies, and susceptibility to asthma and allergies based on their gastrointestinal tract (GI).

The striking findings from a series of studies further advance the so-called hygiene hypothesis theory that early childhood exposure to microorganisms affects the immune system’s development and onset of allergies,” says Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, chair of Henry Ford’s Department of Public Health Sciences and lead researcher.

The gut microbiome is a term for all the microorganisms in the GI tract. Scientists refer to this collection of microorganisms as a “bacterial ecosystem.” The gut microbiome is believed to help with immune development, and is also involved in the development of diseases like auto-immune, obesity, allergies, infections, and more.

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,” Dr. Johnson explains. “The immune system is designed to be exposed to bacteria on a grand scale. If you minimize those exposures, the immune system won’t develop optimally.”

The study findings are coming from Henry Ford Hospital’s Wayne County Health, Environment, Allergy and Asthma Longitudinal Study (WHEALS), which is founded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This study was launched to find out how environmental and biological factors affect the development of allergies and asthma later in life.

The following were the highlights from the studies:
Breastfed babies at one month and six months had distinct microbiome compositions compared to non-breastfed babies. These distinct compositions may influence immune system development.
Breastfed babies at one month were at decreased risk of developing allergies to pets.
Asthmatic children who had nighttime coughing or flare-ups had a distinct microbiome composition during the first year of life.
For the first time, gut microbiome composition was shown to be associated with increasing Treg cells.

Researchers found various factors that change microbiome patterns in babies such as:
A mother’s race/ethnicity.
A baby’s gestational age at birth.
Prenatal and postnatal exposure to tobacco smoke.
Caesarean section versus vaginal delivery.
Presence of pets in the home.

The research is telling us that exposure to a higher and more diverse burden of environmental bacteria and specific patterns of gut bacteria appear to boost the immune system’s protection against allergies and asthma,” Dr. Johnson says.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

DON’T FORGET to sign up for our weekly newsletter to get our latest articles, updates, free recipes and giveaways.

Vitamin E essential for first 1,000 days of life.
9 essentials for happy children.
Why are your kids not getting enough sleep.
Detrimental effects of watching television on sleep in young children.

1. “Breastfeeding, Other Factors Help Shape Immune System Early in Life.” Henry Ford Health System. Henry Ford Health System, 21 Feb. 2015. Web. 27 Feb. 2015.
2. “The Childhood Allergy Study.” Henry Ford Health System. Henry Ford Health System, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2015.
3. “MicroB WEB.” YouTube. HenryFordTV, 21 Feb. 2015. Web. 27 Feb. 2015.
4. “The Wayne County Health Environment Allergy and Asthma Longitudinal Study.” Henry Ford Health System. Henry Ford Health System, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2015.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Yes, I would like to receive emails from StepIn2MyGreenWorld. Sign me up!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact