Exposure to air pollutants not only alters the gut microbiota of adults, but also that of infants. This is the conclusion of a new American study published in Gut Microbes. It provides the first evidence of significant associations between air pollutants.airair environmental inhalants (such as those from traffic, forest fires and industry) and the composition of the gut microbiota of infants, which could impact their development and health.
The role of the intestinal microbiota is central, at the interface of several physiological systems, including the immune systems, endocrineendocrine and nervous. If, at birth, an infant “hosts” few bacteriabacteria, its intestinal microbiota will develop during the first two or three years of life. In particular, exposure to breastmilkbreastmilkfood solidsolidantibiotics and other environmental influences determine the microorganismsmicroorganisms which settle in the intestine. These then influence bodily systems that govern cognition, immunity, appetite, sensitivity toinsulininsulin and mood.
Exposure to fine particles impacts the composition of bacteria in the microbiota
The study aimed to examine the relationships between the gut microbiota of infants at 6 months of age, and their retrospective exposure to particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 and 10 µm – PM2.5 and PM10PM10 – and dioxidenitrogennitrogen during the first six months of his life. The researchers obtained samples of materialsmaterials faeces from 103 healthy infants (primarily breastfed) and then used the sequencingsequencing genetics to analyze them. Based on the babies’ address, they estimated their exposure to fine particlesfine particles using data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality System.
” Overall, we found that exposure to ambient air pollution was associated with a more inflammatory gut microbial profile, which may contribute to a range of future adverse health effects. said lead author Tanya Alderete, assistant professor of integrative physiology. For example, exposure to PM10 was positively associated with a microorganism involved in theinflammationinflammation. Infants most exposed to PM2.5 lacked a beneficial bacteria known to decrease inflammation and aid neurodevelopment.
Long-term health implications
Certain compositions of the intestinal microbiota are known to be associated with Crohn’s disease,asthmaasthmato diabetesdiabetes type 2 and chronic diseases. Researchers suggest that exposure to air pollution during the first six months of life increases the risk ofallergiesallergiesofobesityobesity and diabetes, and may even influence the development of brainbrain – as there is a link between the gut and the brain.
However, further research will need to determine whether and what effects changes in the gut microbiota during infancy have lasting effects. During this time, it is recommended to avoid all sources of indoor and outdoor pollutants. For young mothers, Tanya Alderete advises breastfeeding. ” Breast milk is a fantastic way to develop a healthy microbiota and can help offset some of the harmful effects of environmental exposures. “, did he declare.