Today’s Solutions: October 24, 2021

Babies delivered via Cesarean section often have different gut microbes than those delivered vaginally, but new research using mom-to-infant microbial transplants has been successful in boosting gut health and long-term health outcomes of C-section babies.

Although it might sound a little off-putting, babies who were fed tiny amounts of their mothers’ fecal material in clinical trials developed thriving gut bacteria similar to those delivered vaginally. The babies were given a very small amount in a controlled setting and showed no negative health implications from the procedure. 

Babies born vaginally are covered in their mother’s microbes when they pass through the birth canal, but C-section babies do not experience this, leading to the differing levels of bacteria that colonize the guts of these newborns. 

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of a healthy microbiome and research shows that Cesarean-born children have a higher likelihood of developing microbiome-related diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease.

In the trial, doctors collected stool and blood samples from 17 mothers who were due to undergo elective C-sections. Soon after birth, the newborns were given a few million cells of the live fecal bacteria in their first milk feed. When comparing samples of treated newborns to vaginally delivered babies, their gut microbes were remarkably similar. 

Although the results show promising potential, the researchers were clear that the trial took place in a highly controlled setting, and attempting to replicate the results outside of a carefully regulated medical setting could result in dangerous health outcomes. 

Many determinants of our lifelong health begin in early life and even in the womb. With more trials, this discovery could be key to giving more newborns a strong gut right off the bat. If you’re an adult looking to boost your microbiome, check out this article for some tips!

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Algae wrapped in droplets improves efficiency of artificial photosynthesis

In our quest for the most sustainable, most renewable sources of energy, humanity continues to look to nature for inspiration. One of nature’s most efficient energy systems is photosynthesis, which is how plants convert sunlight, ... Read More

Evidence shows Vikings arrived in Americas nearly 500 years before Columbus

Researchers have known for a while that Vikings from Greenland founded the village of L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around the turn of the millennium, but now, a study published in Nature has finally pinpointed ... Read More

Egypt’s State Council swears-in the nation’s first female judges

Egypt’s State Council was established in 1946 and is an independent judicial body that deals with administrative disputes, disciplinary cases, appeals, reviews draft laws, decisions, and contracts that involve the government or a government-run body. ... Read More

Is group or individual work more productive? Here’s what science says

Are you a group project person or do you prefer to fly solo? We all have our work preferences, but what does science say about teamwork and productivity? A new study conducted by Quartz aims ... Read More

Wildlife filmaker provides a unique insight into the daily lives of bees

You may have seen bees flying around your backyard or local park, but it can be difficult for the naked human eye to grasp the full complexity of the lives of these pollinators. During the ... Read More