Big mama, big me?

By 12. February 2016Blog, Health

In case you haven’t been following it, there has been growing interest in the last few years about the microorganisms that live in your gut and the effect they have on you from affecting your moods to making you fat.

There have been experiments with transferring the gut microbiota from one person or animal to another (if you are eating while reading this you may not want to think about how they do that) and some of these experiments have shown that if the donor was overweight then it can cause the recipient to put on weight.

Other experiments show that babies pick up their gut microbiota on their way into the world or if delivered by c-section then from their initial environments, e.g. from the mother by skin to skin contact or from the doctor/nurses when they handle them or from hospital equipment. (Click here to go to article).

So here is a thought: if you get most of your bacteria from your mother, and the bacteria you have can influence whether or not you are overweight, does that mean if your mother is overweight then chances are you will be too?

That was the question being asked in a paper published in the online journal Sphere. The researchers indentified the species of bacteria from the guts of babies, some from obese mothers and some from healthy mothers.

They found that the weight of the mother did not seem to have an effect on the babies microbiome (when analysed at 9 months) and that is was duration of breast feeding, introduction of complimentary foods and transition to family foods (higher protein and fibre contents) that had the biggest effect.   

So there you go, they didn’t go as far as to suggest what foods should be given to the infants but I’m assuming it would boil down to the normal advice: avoid or keep to a minimum the processed foods and try to promote the fresh fruit and veg, food rich in fibre and perhaps fermented foods.

Click here to read more.