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Probiotics and Prebiotics

can improve health of the

Mother and Foetus


Population ageing drives a growing interest in ways to help us age healty. Over the past few years, research has shown that our gut microbiota changes as we age, and that there is a link between this change and deteriorating health. Is this inevitable or do we have options for mirobiota management?

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Establishing a diverse, balanced microbiome in early life is important to reduce the risk of disease in early and late life. Increasing evidence on early microbial development suggest that the human intestinal microbiota is already seeded before birth. Once established, the composition of the gut microbiota is relatively stable throughout adult life, but can be altered as a result of bacterial infections, antibiotic treatment, lifestyle, surgical, and a long-term change in diet. Dysbiosis in the microbiome during pregnancy not only has an adverse effect of the health state of the mother but also affects the infant. The maternal microbiome affects the infant microbiome which can have lasting effects on childhood health. Altering the prenatal microbiome by probiotics or prebiotics during pregnancy can improve both the health of the mother and foetal outcomes. Probiotic supplementation may have a protective role in the development of pre-eclampsia (a pregnancy complication that causes high blood pressure, kidney damage, and other problems), gestational diabetes, vaginal infections, maternal and infant weight gain and later childhood diseases. 

A recently published review article on the effects of prebiotic and probiotic supplementation before and after birth  concludes that for term infants probiotics could decrease colic and allergic diseases and in preterm infants could decrease the risk of NEC. Although trials included in the review used different doses and probiotic strains, it appears that that doses of >109 microbes per day are more beneficial than lower doses and that multispecies probiotics may have advantages over single strain probiotics.



  Changes in maternal, fetal and neonatal microbes impact both short- and long-term outcomes



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probiotics & pre- and postnatal health

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