The microbiome in healthy children

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The knowledge of the importance of the interaction between the gastro-intestinal microbiome and the human being in health and disease has accumulated exponentially during recent years. Colonization of the gastro-intestinal tract during early life is critically important for a balanced development as it will determine digestive and motility maturation, metabolic, immune and brain development in early life. The optimal healthy microbiota during early life still needs further evaluation. Many factors, environmental and patient related, determine the composition of the microbiome. Medication administered to a pregnant women, mode of delivery, mode of feeding, medication administered to the baby, will all influence the composition of the first colonization of the gastro-intestinal tract. The discovery that mother's milk contains large amounts of prebiotic oligosaccharides and small amount of probiotic bacteria had a major impact on infant formula composition. Pre- and probiotics are commonly used as supplementation in infant formula. Prebiotic oligosaccharides stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria aiming to mimic the gastrointestinal microbiota of breastfed infants. In general, results with prebiotics in therapeutic indications are disappointing. Studies suggest that probiotic supplementation may be beneficial in prevention and management of disease, e.g. reducing the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm infants, prevention and treatment of acute gastroenteritis in infants. Although many studies show promising beneficial effects, the long-term health benefits and eventual risks of probiotic supplementation during early life are not clear. It is likely that ongoing research will result in the use of specific probiotic organisms and/or prebiotic oligosaccharides during the first 1,000 days of life, with the goal to develop a healthy microbiota from conception over birth into the first two years of life, while lowering risk of infections and inflammatory events.

Originele taal-2English
TitelViral Infections in Children
UitgeverijSpringer International Publishing AG
Pagina's183-191
Aantal pagina's9
Volume1
ISBN van elektronische versie9783319540337
ISBN van geprinte versie9783319540320
DOI's
StatusPublished - 2 mei 2017

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