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Diet, food quality, childbirth, breastfeeding, social contact

Dietary changes and microbial content of diet

Modern western diets have been shown to exert profound effects on human gut microbiota.

Whilst microbiological quality of food has improved –  e.g. eliminating harmful organisms - at the same time we have inadvertently  also eliminated Old Friends microbes from our food.

Changes in our dietary habits e.g. (consumption of animal fat versus carbohydrates) have led to changes in types and balance of microbes in our gut.

Child birth, breastfeeding and social contact

Caesarean delivery has been linked to a greater tendency to develop allergic disorders, leading to suggestions that transfer from the bacterial microbiota of the birth canal, in addition to greater exposure to faecal organisms,  during natural childbirth  is important in the early colonisation of the baby’s  gut

Data consistently shows that children from large families are at lower risk  of allergies; larger families give more opportunity for sharing gut, skin and respiratory microbiota, for instance by close contact

Can breastfeeding help?

Studies have shown that breastfeeding for 6 months or more is protective against allergies.