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Intestinal microbiota during early life – impact on health and disease

  • Lotta Nylund (a1) (a2), Reetta Satokari (a1) (a2), Seppo Salminen (a1) and Willem M. de Vos (a2) (a3) (a4)

In the first years after birth, the intestinal microbiota develops rapidly both in diversity and complexity while being relatively stable in healthy adults. Different life-style-related factors as well as medical practices have an influence on the early-life intestinal colonisation. We address the impact of some of these factors on the consecutive microbiota development and later health. An overview is presented of the microbial colonisation steps and the role of the host in that process. Moreover, new early biomarkers are discussed with examples that include the association of microbiota and atopic diseases, the correlation of colic and early development and the impact of the use of antibiotics in early life. Our understanding of the development and function of the intestinal microbiota is constantly improving but the long-term influence of early-life microbiota on later life health deserves careful clinical studies.

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* Corresponding author: L. Nylund, email
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Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
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  • EISSN: 1475-2719
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