The bacteria in our gut is under appreciated. These microbiomes influence obesity, mental health, allergies, and heart health. But little is known how they begin to develop from infancy to toddler age.
Dr. Martin Blaser of New York University led one study that tracked changes in gut bacteria in infants to two years after birth. They found that the use of antibiotics reduced the diversity of bacteria that is part of a healthy microbiome. It also delayed the maturation of microbiomes that resemble adult gut bacteria.
C-section deliveries also negatively impact microbiome development in children, but to a lesser degree than prescribing antibiotics.
That’s why it’s important for doctors to find alternative treatment for bacterial infections or to make sure those infections are not a result of a virus. Using unnecessary antibiotics could affect a child’s development in ways we are just now discovering.
The Crams – Michael, Jo, Catherine & Heidi