Good health starts in the gut
80% of your immune defence is located in your gut. A well-functioning immune system relies on having enough good bacteria in the body and a balanced microbiota. The good bacteria in your body prepare your immune system to combat unwelcome invaders like bad bacteria and toxins.
The first 1000 days: a window of opportunity
The microbiome is intimately connected to health through all life stages. Babies are born with a relatively immature gut microbiome, which is gradually populated with microorganisms from their environment. The period after birth is believed to be crucial for the establishment of a healthy gut microbiome, and this can have a lifelong impact.
The first 1000 days, from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday, offer a unique window of opportunity to build long-term health. The first three months of life are particularly important: a time when disturbances to the developing gut microbiota have the greatest impact on immune system development, and therefore future health.
During this time, a healthy microbiome is characterized by a high number of bifidobacteria. Bifidobacteria are core components of infant health as they are important for the development of the immune system and intestinal function.