A study that tracked over 300 children during their first three years of life found that breastfeeding for longer periods encouraged beneficial bacteria to flourish in their digestive tracts. Senior author Tine Rask Licht concludes, “We have become increasingly aware of how crucially important a healthy gut microbial population is for a well-functioning immune system. Babies are born without bacteria in the gut, and so it is interesting to identify the influence dietary factors have on gut microbiota development in children’s first three years of life.”
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Applied Environmental Microbiology, May 2014