Joint Nestlé study highlights factors that impact key infant gut bacteria

Feb 4, 2015

mother and daughter 

The Nestlé Research Center (NRC) has announced the results of a joint study that shows the role of external factors, such as mode of birth delivery, that impact the development of key gut bacteria in infants.

The gut bacteria is commonly referred to as the microbiome, which consists of around 100 trillion microorganisms that live in the body and perform a variety of important functions, including supporting the immune system.

The results of the study provide further insights that could eventually lead to the development of nutritional products for expecting mothers. The study is being published February 3 in the journal, mBio, which is published by the American Society for Microbiology.

The NRC, the world’s largest private nutritional research centre, worked with researchers at the international EpiGen Consortium, which has made significant research discoveries in recent years in the areas of maternal and young child nutrition. The consortium consists of researchers based at five centres around the world, including the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, who led the current study.

Nestlé has been collaborating with the EpiGen Consortium since 2011, studying how the diet and lifestyles of pregnant women influence the activity of their baby’s genes and how these subtle epigenetic changes impact the future healthy growth and development of their children.

For more information on the study, visit the mBio website. Learn more about Nestlé’s research into cutting-edge maternal nutrition and view an infographic on epigenetics.