Question How do infant feeding practices influence gut microbiota and risk of overweight?
Findings Among 1087 infants from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) cohort, earlier cessation of breastfeeding and supplementation with formula (more so than complementary foods) were associated with a dose-dependent increase in risk of overweight by age 12 months; this association was partially explained by specific gut microbiota features at 3 to 4 months. Subtle but significant microbiota differences were observed after brief exposure to formula limited to the birth hospital stay, but these differences were not associated with overweight.
Meaning Breastfeeding may contribute to protection against overweight by modifying the gut microbiota, particularly during early infancy.
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