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.

Scientists have discovered a fungus that delays wound healing in mice and is enriched in inflamed tissue from patients with Crohn’s disease. The findings, coupled with the discovery of an engineered yeast that suppresses inflammation in a mouse model of colitis, highlights the potential of studying fungi-host interactions in IBD.

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 term synbiotic, less known than probiotics or prebiotics, was born in 1995. In 2019, a group of scientists came together to propose a new definition. Discover why synbiotics are more than simply a probiotic-prebiotic combination and how they can benefit you.

While we have known for a while that a diet consisting of fiber-rich foods reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases and lowers people’s mortality rate, scientists have only recently started elucidating why fiber is beneficial for human health. This article clarifies the definition and health implications of the closely related terms fiber, MACs and prebiotics.

We have known for a while that obesity has a microbial component. Now, a team of scientists led by Patrice D. Cani reports a novel bacterium isolated from the human gut that counteracts diet-induced obesity, inflammation and glucose dysregulation in mice.