Baby's First Gut Bacteria May Come From Mum's Mouth, Texas Children's Hospital And Baylor College of Medicine Study
Babies in the womb are not as sheltered from the outside world as you might think. The placenta harbours a unique ecosystem of bacteria which may have a surprising origin – the mother's mouth. Disturbances of the placenta's bacterial community may explain why some women give birth prematurely, and could also be one of the ways that a woman's diet affects her offspring's gut bacteria, and as a result the child's disease risk. "Different nutrients [in the mother's diet] are a huge determinant of which microbes take up residence in the placenta," says Kjersti Aagaard of Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who led the study.
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