Does gut microbiome development end by age 3?

29 Sep 2021

by Andreu Prados

Although it was previously thought that the infant gut microbiota would attain an adult-like structure by the age of 3, recent studies have suggested that the gut community of microorganisms continues to evolve in both pre-adolescents and 20-year-olds.

Restoring maternal microbes immediately after birth, in a practice dubbed ‘vaginal seeding’, has been suggested as a means of improving microbiome development in cesarean-born neonates. Two new studies come to contradictory findings, however, highlighting the need for more clinical trials before the practice is generalized.

The microbiota of infants born by caesarean section resembles that of maternal oral cavity and skin, whereas that of vaginally born infants resembles that of the maternal gut microbiome. A new proof-of-concept study shows that the gut microbiota of C-section-born infants can be restored after delivery via orally administered maternal fecal microbiota transplantation.

The importance of the first 1000 days of life

10 Jul 2019

by Cristina Sáez

From the moment we are conceived until we are 1000 days old, nutrition and gut microbiota play an essential role in laying the foundations of our health later in life.