This is a really interesting new review paper and a facinating idea. The paper is titled: "Can we modulate the breastfed infant gut microbiota through maternal diet?"

In other words - if you change the diet of a breastfeeding mother, can this change the infant gut microbiome?

Surprisingly (at least to me) there hasn't been much research on this subject, so this new paper by Sindi A.S. et al., (2021) provides a really valuable review of previous animal and human studies.

And it comes to to the conclusion that yes, this is a plausible hypothesis - that the mother's diet during lactation can influence the infant gut microbiome.


About the new review paper

The new review paper by Sindi A.S. et al., (2021) was published in FEMS Microbiology Reviews in February 2021.

It reviews previous animal and human studies and explores the hypothesis that changing the breastfeeding mother's diet can potentially change the infant gut microbiome.

As this new paper explains, one observational paper previously looked at the diet during lactation and how this can affect the infant gut microbiome.

Previous animal studies suggest that changes to the mother's gut microbiome via diet or probiotics can affect the mammary or milk microbiome.

Plus other human studies suggest that the mother's diet during pregnancy may affect the gut microbiome of a breastfed baby.

Taken altogether, to quote from the abstract, "there is a plausible hypothesis that maternal diet during lactation may influence the infant gut microbiota. "

The take-home message:

Obviously much more research is needed to confirm that yes the mother's diet whilst breastfeeding can affect the infant gut microbiome.

But if more research confirms this, that yes, you can change the infant gut microbiome through changing the mother's diet during the period of time she is breastfeeding, then this could potentially be a way to "restore" the infant gut (if needed) in early life. An amazing idea!


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Science reference:

Science ref: Sindi AS, Geddes DT, Wlodek ME, Muhlhausler BS, Payne MS, Stinson LF. Can we modulate the breastfed infant gut microbiota through maternal diet? FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2021 Feb 11:fuab011. doi: 10.1093/femsre/fuab011. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33571360.


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