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The relationship between breast milk components and the infant gut microbiota

Abstract : The assembly of the newborn's gut microbiota during the first months of life is an orchestrated process resulting in specialized microbial ecosystems in the different gut compartments. This process is highly dependent upon environmental factors, and many evidences suggest that early bacterial gut colonization has long-term consequences on host digestive and immune homeostasis but also metabolism and behavior. The early life period is therefore a “window of opportunity” to program health through microbiota modulation. However, the implementation of this promising strategy requires an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms governing gut microbiota assembly. Breastfeeding has been associated with a healthy microbiota in infants. Human milk is a complex food matrix, with numerous components that potentially influence the infant microbiota composition, either by enhancing specific bacteria growth or by limiting the growth of others. The objective of this review is to describe human milk composition and to discuss the established or purported roles of human milk components upon gut microbiota establishment. Finally, the impact of maternal diet on human milk composition is reviewed to assess how maternal diet could be a simple and efficient approach to shape the infant gut microbiota.
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Contributor : Anne Giboulot <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 4:10:25 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 11:00:01 AM


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Gaëlle Boudry, Elise Charton, Isabelle Le Huërou-Luron, Stéphanie Ferret-Bernard, Sophie Le Gall, et al.. The relationship between breast milk components and the infant gut microbiota. Frontiers in nutrition, Frontiers media, 2021, 8 (article 629740), ⟨10.3389/fnut.2021.629740⟩. ⟨hal-03205829⟩



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