subject: bifidobacteria

Mother’s DNA Alters Baby’s Gut Microbes

Mother's DNA Alters Baby's Gut Microbes

A mother’s genes determine a lot of things about her newborn, and it turns out that their effects extend even to the bacteria that colonize the baby’s gut. The establishment of a baby’s gut microbial community is an important event in a newborn’s life. A new study, conducted by microbial ecologist Zachary Lewis, finds that the gut microbiome of breastfed infants is influenced by the types of sugars present in breast milk [1, 2]. Specifically, a particular gene in mothers that modifies sugars in breast milk influences infants’ gut microbiome. Read More...

Hidden Farmyard Sugars

Hidden Farmyard Sugars

In recent years, lactation science has paid great attention to the 200-odd medium-sized sugar molecules found in human breast milk. This is because these oligosaccharides, the sugars in the milk, (as the sugars are formally termed) have important roles in promoting infant health. These roles hinge on their structure, but until now, it was always understood that the oligosaccharides of domestic animals were rather dull by comparison to those found in human breast milk. However, a recent survey of the milk of cows, sheep, pigs, horses, goats, and dromedary camels has uncovered hitherto unknown diversity. Read More...