About Cristina Sáez

Cristina Saez is a freelance science journalist. She works for several media, for instance the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, where she coordinates the science section, Big Vang; as well as research centres and scientific societies. She has been awarded for her journalistic work, among others, with the Boehringer Ingelheim Award in Medical Journalism 2015. Follow Cristina on Twitter @saez_cristina

Although we know how important it is to have a rich, balanced and resilient community of microorganisms in the colon in order to enjoy overall well-being and health, scientists still do not know what a healthy microbiota looks like. A new study with more than 8,000 participants sheds light on the question.

Gut health benefits begin in pregnancy

10 Nov 2021

by Cristina Sáez

Assumed for a long-time immune system training started after birth, when mom’s microbiota started colonizing the newborn, Yale University scientists point out that process may have begun much earlier, in utero.

Numerous studies have been published on the impact of factors such as nutrition in early life, mode of delivery and antibiotic intake during this critical period and for future health. With that in mind, scientists have reviewed all the scientific data available on the impact of early life nutrition on the gut microbiota and the long-lasting effects on the brain.

Following a diverse diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fermented foods, could play a protective role against severe forms of COVID-19. A new review presents the hypothesis highlighting the link between a less diversified microbiota, a high intake of processed foods and refined sugars and severe Covid-19 cases in Western countries.

Scientists have started to investigate the role gut microbiota might play in either protecting against COVID-19 or on the contrary in increasing vulnerability to severe symptomatic disease. Any conclusions would be highly relevant to preventing increased mortality among elderly nursing home residents.