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Begin your child’s journey towards a Healthy Gut!

How is gut health important for your child’s health and immunity?

Gut health, especially during the first 1000 days of life, is an essential component for your child’s health and immunity1 – as it is during this time that its gastrointestinal tract is developing, and the gut microbiota is forming. This involves establishment of a variety of microorganisms in the gut1.

The health of a gut is characterized by a diverse and well-balanced collection of these microorganisms. When there is an imbalance caused in the gut because of change in the type or number of these microorganisms, the condition is known as ‘gut dysbiosis’3.

Research studies have demonstrated the role of dysbiosis in the development of several metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes, and immune-related disorders such as asthma and allergies6.

A healthy gut not only protects your child against disease-causing organisms4 but is also important for the development of a resistant, strong, and a well-functioning immune system5.

The following factors affect a child’s immunity during the 1st year of life:

Preterm infants with a lower level of maternally derived antibodies are more vulnerable to infection7

Vaginal delivery shapes the infant’s immunity7 (through its contact with the mother’s microorganisms)

Breast milk helps shape an infant’s immune system better vis-à-vis formula feeding – as it contains not only the basic nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) but also a multitude of factors that drive development and maturation of the immune system and protect newborns from the environmental pathogens7

Development of an efficient immune system also depends upon diversity and type of intestinal microbiota (balance in the gut microbiota)8

Use of antibiotics during fetal life or as a neonate – can increase the risk of infections and affect the basic immune homeostasis because of causing imbalance in the gut flora9

A variety of factors6 can cause disturbance of the gut bacteria throughout our lives, starting from the fetal stage itself:


Mother’s diet during pregnancy

Mother’s health during pregnancy

If the mother is exposed to antibiotics during pregnancy


Mode of delivery (c-section delivery may be more vulnerable to causing imbalance of gut bacteria than normal delivery)

Feeding (formula feeding may cause imbalance of gut microbiota as compared to breastfeeding)

Use of antibiotics in neonates



Exposure to antibiotics during childhood


Host genetics

Breastfeed your child during the 1st year of life6

Cut back on junk food and sugary food from your child’s diet10

Add foods such as yoghurt and aged cheese to help with the beneficial gut bacteria11

Ensure intake of probiotics (probiotic formulations are microecological products that improve the gut flora's architecture, diminish the growth of harmful microbes, and improve the immune response12,13)

Include prebiotics, which act as food for the probiotics12, in their meals


  • 1. Aires J. First 1000 Days of Life: Consequences of Antibiotics on Gut Microbiota. Front Microbiol. 2021;12:681427. Published 2021 May 19. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2021.681427.
  • 2. Vighi G, Marcucci F, Sensi L, Di Cara G, Frati F. Allergy and the gastrointestinal system. Clin Exp Immunol. 2008;153 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):3-6. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x
  • 3. Messer, Jeannette S., and Eugene B. Chang. "Microbial physiology of the digestive tract and its role in inflammatory bowel diseases." Physiology of the gastrointestinal tract. Academic Press, 2018. 795-810.
  • 4. Carding S, Verbeke K, Vipond DT, Corfe BM, Owen LJ. Dysbiosis of the gut microbiota in disease. Microb Ecol Health Dis. 2015;26:26191. Published 2015 Feb 2. doi:10.3402/mehd.v26.26191
  • 5. Martin, Rocio, et al. "Early life: gut microbiota and immune development in infancy." Beneficial microbes 1.4 (2010): 367-382
  • 6. Kumbhare, Shreyas V., et al. "Factors influencing the gut microbiome in children: from infancy to childhood." Journal of biosciences 44.2 (2019): 1-19
  • 7. Kloc M, Ghobrial RM, Kuchar E, Lewicki S, Kubiak JZ. Development of child immunity in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. Clin Immunol. 2020;217:108510. doi:10.1016/j.clim.2020.108510
  • 8. Inman, C. F., et al. "Rearing environment affects development of the immune system in neonates." Clinical & Experimental Immunology 160.3 (2010): 431-439.
  • 9. Francino, M. P. "Antibiotics and the human gut microbiome: dysbioses and accumulation of resistances." Frontiers in microbiology 6 (2016): 1543.
  • 10. Myers, Stephen P., and J. A. Hawrelak. "The causes of intestinal dysbiosis: a review." Altern Med Rev 9.2 (2004): 180-197.
  • 11. Oskar Adolfsson, Simin Nikbin Meydani, Robert M Russell, Yogurt and gut function, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 80, Issue 2, August 2004, Pages 245–256
  • 12. Anatoly Bezkorovainy, Probiotics: determinants of survival and growth in the gut, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 73, Issue 2, February 2001, Pages 399s–405s,
  • 13. Butel, M-J. "Probiotics, gut microbiota and health." Médecine et maladies infectieuses 44.1 (2014): 1-8.