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Influence of breast milk versus formula and genetics on gut microbiota composition could help prevent celiac disease

A group of investigators from Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos, Valencia, Spain, have carried out some research to confirm that the level of genetic risk of celiac disease influences the composition of infants’ gut microbiota, and therefore the type of milk feeding also influences the gut microbiota species distribution. They hypothesise that changes in the gut microbiota directly influence the risk of coeliac disease, and so breast feeding in particular could reduce this risk.

Their research shows that infants with a high risk of developing coeliac disease have a high prevalence of certain Bacteroides spp, which is different from those with a low risk. They also report that the type of milk influences Bacteroides species composition, particularly one called B. uniformis, which is associated with the low risk genotype. This could explain the protective role that breast feeding plays against the development of coeliac disease, and with further confirmation, they will soon be able to recommend breastfeeding and dietary intervention trials to moderate intestinal microbiota in infants with a high risk of developing coeliac disease.

Source: Applied and Environmental Microbiology

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