A team of Swiss researchers suggests that feeding a newborn baby with breast milk is the best way to ensure development of a good digestive system and lay the foundations of early immunity.
The study was conducted by researchers at Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health in Zurich who found the presence of the same strains of Bifidobacterium breve and several types of Clostridium bacteria in breast milk and in maternal and neonatal feces.
The researchers said that these same bacteria were responsible for establishing a nutritional balance in the baby's colon and preventing intestinal disorders. The study has been published in the journal Environmental Microbiology
"We are excited to find out that bacteria can actually travel from the mother's gut to her breast milk. A healthy community of bacteria in the gut of both mother and baby is really important for baby's gut health and immune system development. We're not sure of the route the bacteria takes from gut to breast milk but, we have used culture, isolation, sequencing and fingerprinting methods to confirm that they are definitely the same strains", lead researcher Professor Christophe Lacroix said.