Fretting over your sick baby again? It’s time to pay attention to his gut health
Your baby's gut plays a crucial role in helping to build his natural defences to fight against infections. Read on to find out more.
We want our babies to grow up happy and healthy. To ensure this, we try to take many protective and proactive measures to keep our little ones free of infections as far as possible.
However, babies are babies, and as part of their natural learning journey, they will pick things up and put them into their mouth. Occasionally, your baby may pick up infection-causing germs.
So how do you help him cope with these germs? Well most definitely not by sanitizing everything in sight with anti-bacterial wipes and antiseptics. In fact, believe it or not, the one thing that you should be doing to build your baby’s natural defences, is to actually work hard to cultivate good bacteria in your baby’s gut.
Here’s a quick fact: The gut is home to 70% of the body’s immune cells4 and trillion of friendly bacteria (or healthy gut microbiota)
Yes, the gut, or the gastrointestinal tract, is the largest immune organ in the body. It hosts your baby’s own little army of immune cells and friendly bacteria which help his natural defences – or the body’s ability to identify and kill bad germs that can cause infections -- to function properly in the following ways:
1. Preventing infections: The friendly bacteria in the gut form a layer covering the wall of the gut. This extra layer acts as a barrier against infection-causing germs, by leaving no space on the gut wall for them to grow, thus protecting babies from infections.4,5
2. Helping to manage allergic reactions: The immune cells identify which substances are harmful and which are safe for your little one’s body. This function is extremely important in the management of allergies.4 Allergies typically happen when the immune system is hyperactive to a safe substance. This happens more often in babies, as the immune system is not yet fully developed. Healthy gut microbiota supports the development of immune system so that it will be less likely to react in a hyperactive manner to safe substances7.
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Keeping the gut healthy helps keep the natural defences strong. However, a healthy gut needs a good bacteria profile with plenty of good bacteria to improve the total well-being of your child.
But how do you ensure that good bacteria thrive?
A diet rich in prebiotics can help support your baby’s healthy gut and total well-being. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres found in our food such as bananas, berries and whole grains, and can help promote the growth and activity of good bacteria in your baby's gut. In a nut shell, they are the source of food for these good bacteria.
However, not all prebiotics are the same, so choose with care. Scientific research has shown that a 9:1 GOS/IcFOS+ prebiotics blend promotes a healthy gut bacteria profile and supports the body’s natural defences10
A healthy gut builds the foundation of your child’s total well-being. Nurturing a healthy gut in his early years is important to strengthen your child’s natural defences, support his brain and physical development and influence his day-to-day mood.
Have you started nurturing your little ones' healthy guts? To help you kickstart this journey, find out if your child has a healthy gut here.
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This article is brought to you by Danone Dumex®.
Danone Dumex® is part of Nutricia, #1 Baby Milk company in Europe^
We have been focusing our scientific and clinical expertise on gut health for the last 40 years. Danone Dumex® is committed to supporting little guts by continuous improvement, to help maintain the overall health and well-being of babies.
^ Danone Nutricia ELN is the first Ranked Milk Formula manufacturer both in Sales Value and Sales Volume for these 9 countries(UK, DE, NL, IRL, PL, BEL, CZE/SLO and ROM) during the MAT period Dec 2015.
Click here for references to all scientific data.