Air pollution linked to negative changes in a baby’s gut microbiome

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The findings of a new study are some of the first to link exposure to air pollution with gut microbiome development in infants. Photo: Pexels


(Richard Haridy/ New Atlas) — A new study published in the journal Gut Microbes is the first to investigate the relationship between air pollution and a baby’s developing gut microbiome. The research found exposure to air pollution in the first six months of life is associated with a gut microbiome composition linked to allergies and inflammatory disease.

“The microbiome plays a role in nearly every physiological process in the body, and the environment that develops in those first few years of life sticks with you,” explained Maximilian Bailey, first author on the new study.

The new research follows on from a 2020 study by the same team that investigated the associations between microbiome composition and air pollution in around 100 young adults living in Southern California. Those findings were among some of the first to directly link air pollutants to changes in the gut microbiome. (…)

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