Breast Milk vs. Formula May Affect Development of Bacteroides in Infants at Risk for Celiac Disease

June 13, 2011

Breast Milk vs. Formula May Affect Development of Bacteroides in Infants at Risk for Celiac Disease

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Prevalence of gut bacteria differed based on type of milk and genetic predisposition.

Researchers in Spain have discovered that genetic factors and the type of milk an infant ingests may affect the development and growth of Bacteroides, and possibly, the patient’s risk for celiac disease. Bacterioides are a species of bacteria that typically play a beneficial role when contained in the gut.

Researchers compared 75 infants who had at least one first-degree relative with celiac disease, dividing the groups into those who were breast fed vs. formula fed and high risk vs. low risk, based on HLA-DQ genotype. Researchers analyzed stool samples at 7 days, 1 month and 4 months to identify the prevalence of Bacteroides.

According to the study, researchers found that the “Bactericides diversity indexwas higher in formula-fed than in breastfed infants.”

Currently, celiac-specific research points to the value of breast feeding, as it protects the infant against infection. Mothers are advised to breast feed for 4-6 months. Gluten should be introduced around 4 months and increased gradually while continuing to breast feed, according to current recommendations.

To read more about this study on Bacteroides, visit http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/AEM.00365-11v1

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