Do you or someone you know suffer from allergies or autoimmune disease? Today, we are hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t answer yes to this question.
Over the past several years, scientists have studied the drastic rise in these immune-related conditions, with research identifying a role of nutrition in the first months of life.
It is now widely recognized that breastfeeding is the gold standard when it comes to infant nutrition. Tomorrow marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week, an annual celebration and awareness campaign highlighting and recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding. Education is a key component to the efforts of this campaign.
So why is breastmilk so advantageous to the immune system during this critical time in life?
In addition to the nutrients that support the growth and development of the infant, human breast milk contains non-digestible carbohydrates known as Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs). HMOs make up 15% of the nutrients in breastmilk, and guess what? 97% of babies today are not able to utilize them (aka they are being pooped out and lost in the diaper – that is some seriously valuable poop).
Any mom who has spent countless hours breastfeeding and pumping to ensure her baby gets the best possible nutrition is probably wondering, “Why would I expend so much energy to produce a substance that my baby can’t digest?”
About a decade ago, researchers at the UC Davis asked themselves the same thing. However, they had a hypothesis. Maybe these HMOs, although non-digestible to the baby, were there to feed something else – bacteria in the infant gut.
Anyone interested in health has likely heard the buzz on the street about probiotics. By definition, probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria) that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host. However, not all probiotics are created equal and this is especially true for infants.
The scientists at UC Davis found that one specific strain of bacteria was able to grow remarkably well on HMOs (a prebiotic contained in breast milk) and as a result, only this strain can confer a probiotic benefit during infancy. The identified strain is Bifidobacterium longum subspecies Infantis (B. infantis). This bacteria is passed from mom to baby during vaginal birth, and breast milk feeds both baby and B. infantis during the first year of life.
However, over the last century, modern medical practices, such as antibiotic use, cesarean sections and formula-feeding have slowly been eradicating this strain from the population. Today, the vast majority of babies are not colonized with B. infantis and in many cases this is because mom didn’t have it to pass on to baby in the first place. With industrialization we have experienced a generational loss in this important infant gut symbiont. Luckily, this important discovery was made before it was too late.
Thankfully, because of research, we are now able to restore the infant microbiome to its original, natural state with the newest infant microbiome solution, Evivo.
Why is this important?
Evivo (activated B. infantis EVC001) is the only probiotic clinical proven to restore the infant gut microbiome to its original, natural state. When the activated B. infantis in Evivo colonizes the infant gut, it is uniquely able to capture, convert and consume all of the HMO structures in human milk and turn them into important nutrients for baby. In addition, Evivo outcompetes other harmful organisms that would otherwise cause gut dysbiosis and potentially trigger an immune-response. Recent studies suggest that babies not receiving this good gut bacteria in infancy could be at higher risk for eczema, allergies, obesity and diabetes.
So ladies, knowledge is power! The power to fight disease. The power to change long-term health trajectories. The power to nourish babies from the inside out.
During World Breastfeeding Week, and every day, we love keeping you informed so you are armed with the information you need to make nutrition choices for yourself and your family.
If you are a breastfeeding mom, make sure to give Evivo once daily for the duration of breastfeeding.
Please help us spread awareness by sharing the news with your friends, family and healthcare providers. For more information on the science behind Evivo, please visit www.evivo.com.
As always, we love curiosity and questions so please reach out if you want to know more!
Love & Zest,