Health Alert: Immune System Development Influenced Early in Life.
New research shows that exposure to a variety of bacteria during gestation and infancy can promote a more diverse population of bacteria in the gut. A healthy population of gut bacteria can aid in the development of the immune system and reduce a child’s risk for allergies and asthma. Research leader Dr. Christine Cole Johnson comments, “For years now, we’ve always thought that a sterile environment was not good for babies. Our research shows why. Exposure to these micro-organisms, or bacteria, in the first few months after birth actually help stimulate the immune system. The immune system is designed to be exposed to bacteria on a grand scale. If you minimize those exposures, the immune system won’t develop optimally.” Henry Ford Health System, February 2015