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Prebiotics and the Infant Microbiota
Recommended reading: Climate Change and Microbial Ecology | Polymerase Chain Reaction | SUMOylation and UbiquitinationPrebiotics and the Infant Microbiota. A review of current scientific research, applications and resources.
Prebiotics and the Infant MicrobiotaAdapted from L.C. Roger and A.L. McCartney in Probiotics and Prebiotics: Scientific Aspects
Prebiotics and the Infant Microbiota: It has long been established that there is a distinction between the gastrointestinal microbiota harboured by breast- and formula-fed infants. Although microbiological methodologies, infant formulae and the general health status of the community have all improved vastly over the last century, recent studies using modern molecular techniques have confirmed that there are differences in the faecal microbiota of exclusively milk-fed infants (depending on feeding regime). Molecular-based analysis has also highlighted the complexity of this bacterial ecosystem, with inter-individual and intra-individual variations observed, both within and across feeding groups. Coupled with the recognized health and well-being associated with breast-fed infants, the predominance of the bifidobacterial group has fuelled much interest in dietary interventions (or formulae fortifications) to modulate the composition of formula-fed infants' faecal microbiota. The limited clinical data available to date are very promising, with clear evidence of the ability to use prebiotics in infant formulae to elicit a microbiota better resembling that seen in breast-fed infants. However, the long-term effects and health impact are yet to be elucidated.
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