Researchers from the University of Alberta and University of Manitoba in Canada conducted DNA tests on three months babies and twelve months babies. The researchers analyzed DNA results to classify the composition of bacteria in the stools of young babies collected at 3 months and at 12 months old. They used the analysis to determine the present bacteria and its relationship with food sensitization at the age of one year. This has the same results as the one measured by a skin reaction test.

Infants’ gut pattern reveals future food sensitivities

The finding, published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy, shows that young babies with similar gut bacteria at three months showed sensitivity to particular foods like egg, milk and peanut at one year of age. They found that infants with different levels of Enterobacteriaceae and Bacteroidaceae developed food sensitization at some point.

Senior author of the study Anita Kozyrskyj, professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta, says it is practical to measure the risk of food sensitization in a one-year-old infant.

Meghan Azad, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba notes that they are still monitoring the whole process. Meghan, lead author of the team adds that they are hoping to develop new ways of dealing with allergic conditions, more importantly by altering the gut micro biota.

Increase in gut bacteria at 3 months reduces food allergies at 1 year

By conducting analysis on 166 babies from Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD), the team led by Prof. Azad found that twelve babies representing 7.2 percent were sensitive to one or more foods at 1 year. The team’s analysis showed that there was a clear inverse relationship between the increase in gut bacteria richness at 3 months and the risk of food sensitization at 1 year. In addition, it was noted that increase in the ratio of Enterobacteriaceae to Bacteroidaceae, increased the risk of food sensitization.

However, the team revealed that there was no concrete evidence showing that children with food sensitivity would develop serious allergic problems in the future. The team is keen to do further tests on children at the age of three and five years so as to know whether infants who show early changes in gut bacteria patterns would develop food allergies or asthma in the future as Prof. Kozyrskyj says.

Such studies are very important as the results will come in handy in helping parents better understand how to handle their young ones’ health while, at the same time, knowing how to respond to when their children develop certain conditions. That is for the reason that, some conditions like allergies are very sensitive and require close monitoring, especially in children.