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Neonatology. 2007;92(1):64-6. Epub 2007 Feb 23.

Breast milk: a source of bifidobacteria for infant gut development and maturation?

Author information

1
Functional Foods Forum and Departments, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. miguel.gueimonde@utu.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The establishment of gut microbiota is a stepwise process contributing to gut development and maturation of the immune system. Aberrant gut microbiota at an early age may predispose to disease later in life. Breast-fed infants harbor a characteristic intestinal microbiota dominated by bifidobacteria.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess, using molecular techniques (PCR), whether human milk contains bifidobacteria and to determine the bifidobacterial species present.

METHODS:

The presence of bifidobacteria in breast milk samples (n = 20) was qualitatively and quantitatively determined by using PCR and real-time PCR, respectively.

RESULTS:

Breast milk samples contained bifidobacteria. Bifidobacterium longum was the most widely found species followed by Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium catenulatum.

CONCLUSION:

Breast milk contains bifidobacteria and specific Bifidobacterium species that may promote healthy microbiota development.

PMID:
17596738
DOI:
10.1159/000100088
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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