Bifidobacteria are one of the most common types of bacteria in the gut, and they play a crucial role in maintaining human health.
Babies (and adults) can be low on these good bugs, but luckily there are ways to increase bifidobacteria in babies. Read more to learn how you can get them for your baby!
Reason that babies need bifdobacteria
The science behind why we need Bifidobacteria is complicated, but it’s important enough that I’ll try my best to explain it here.
When babies have too few or no bifidobiliti, their immune system will not develop as well as it should–this means they’re more likely to get sick from viruses and other pathogens trying to enter through their
Bifidobacteria are an important part of the gut microbiota in infants, and they provide many benefits to a baby’s health. Babies can be born without them, but not all babies do.
The bifidobacterial population is typically low in breastfed babies but increases over time with continued breastfeeding. It is difficult to get them into bottles or jars for commercial use because they don’t survive well outside the human body.
Treatments like probiotics also have limited success due to their sensitivity to stomach acidity and digestive enzymes that break down proteins and carbohydrates before they reach the intestines where probiotics reside.
Hence, it has been difficult for parents who want more Bifidobacteria in their babies’ guts because there are no good ways
Facts regarding babies and bifidobacteria
- These beneficial bacteria are particularly important for the body in early life.
- In fact, they are one of the first types of bacteria to grow in babies’ intestines after they’re born.
- In the first few weeks of life, they can make up 60% of all of the bacteria in the infant gut microbiome.
- Their main role during this time is to digest the healthy sugars in breast milk that are important for babies’ growth.
- In fact, babies who are breastfed tend to have much higher levels of these beneficial bacteria in their intestines than those who are bottle-fed.
- Similarly, babies who are born by standard vaginal delivery usually have more Bifidobacteria in their intestines compared to those born by caesarean section. Preterm birth can also reduce levels of these bacteria in infants.
- Bifidobacteria may also help control the immune system and help the gut wall stay intact in infants, which can help prevent infections.
How do babies get bifidobacteria?
The mother’s intestinal microbiota is a likely source of some bifidobacteria for the infant, both during and after the birthing process, and several studies have proven strain congruence among isolates from mother’s and infant’s faeces.
When the baby is born, it will have bifidobacteria in its intestines. This can be due to some of their mother’s vaginal bacteria being passed on during birth or from breastfeeding.
Both are considered healthy ways for infants to get this beneficial bacterium which aids in digestion and boosts immunity.
It’s also important that babies don’t eat any dairy products until they’re at least one year old because children under 12 months are more susceptible to lactose intolerance which could lead to digestive issues like diarrhoea, stomach pain, bloating or gas.
To keep your child safe while consuming anything with milk products make sure you consult a doctor first.
What foods feed bifidobacteria to your gut?
Increased Bifidobacteria levels in the intestines may aid in the prevention or treatment of a variety of disorders.
Here are a few ways you can assist them in their development:
Take probiotics: Bifidobacteria probiotics can help boost the quantity of these bacteria in your intestines.
Consume high-fibre foods: These good bacteria are capable of breaking down fibre. Apples, artichokes, blueberries, almonds, and pistachios, for example, are high in fibre and can help your Bifidobacteria thrive.
Prebiotic foods, not to be confused with probiotics, are carbs that aid in the growth of good bacteria. Prebiotics are found in onions, garlic, bananas, and other fruits and vegetables, and they can help Bifidobacteria thrive.
Eat polyphenols: Polyphenols are plant chemicals that gut microbes may break down. Bifidobacteria in the gut is increased by polyphenols found in foods like cocoa, green tea, and red wine.
Consume whole grains: Whole grains like oats and barley are high in Bifidobacteria, which is beneficial for gut health.
Consume fermented foods such as yogurt and kimchi, which contain beneficial bacteria. They primarily contain Lactobacilli, but may also contain Bifidobacteria, and aid in the growth of these bacteria in the stomach.
Exercise has been shown to enhance Bifidobacteria in mice in several studies. Women who exercise more have more bacteria, although this could be related to other reasons as well, such as a good diet.
Breastfeeding: If you’re able, breastfeed your baby to boost his or her Bifidobacteria levels. Babies who are breastfed have more bacteria than those who are bottle-fed.
When at all feasible, have a vaginal birth: Bifidobacteria is more prevalent in babies born via vaginal delivery than in those born via C-section.
Bifidobacteria are important bacteria that help keep your gut healthy. You can find bifidobacterium in breast milk, but it is often not enough to give a child the benefits of this helpful bacterium on its own.
Adding probiotics and prebiotic foods helps increase the number of good bacteria in their guts. This will help them develop strong immune systems by preventing harmful microorganisms from growing inside their intestines.
One way you can encourage your baby’s natural production of bifidobacteria is through breastfeeding or using a formula with long-chain fatty acids like omega 3 fats which provide nourishment for these beneficial bacteria colonies to thrive on.
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