As we have previously explained in this blog, many factors can alter our gut microbiota: from health status and diet to ageing and pregnancy. Confirming this, a study published recently in Cell Magazine showed that the composition of gut microbiota changes dramatically while expecting a baby. Although gut microbiota was widely analyzed up to now, this was the first time that the gut microbe population has been tracked during pregnancy.
Researchers wanted to explore and characterize the evolution of gut microbiota composition during pregnancy. They discovered that women’s gut microbe populations change significantly as pregnancy advances, losing diversity. By the third trimester it looks very much like the one from a person who is overweight and has an increased risk for diabetes, but these changes, as it is concluded in the research “are associated with metabolic disease in nonpregnant women and men but may be beneficial in the context of a normal pregnancy”. Even more, they are supposed to be part of a normal healthy pregnancy, where the body gets prepared to nourish the coming baby.
Many questions remain still open about the origin, causes and possible consequences of these changes, but what is now clear is that pregnant women need to think not only about feeding herself and her babies, but also the tens of trillions of little bugs living in their intestines and evolving with them as their bellies grow…
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