Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop 2016


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I am attending the 88th Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop in Mexico “Intestinal Microbiome: Functional Aspects in Health and Disease” and gave a presentation yesterday on brain gut interactions and behavior.

There is a growing consensus that the early life period is crucial for the programming of the gut microbiome. This starts during pregnancy with maternal nutrition and stress, includes the mode of delivery and continues with breast feeding.

Nature has come up with an amazing system of modifying the information that is contained in our own genes and passed on to our children (“epigenetic modification”) in order to adapt the growing child to the specific environmental conditions into which it is born. The colonization of our gut during the first 3 years of life plays an important role in this process. This early programming not only can increase the risk for developing obesity later depression and irritable bowel syndrome, and maybe even play a yet to defined role in autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit disorder.