The gut microbiome - children vs adults.

by Robyn Cogger
3 minutes
The gut microbiome - children vs adults.

Many might not be aware, but the child microbiome is actually different from the adult biome. Below are some things to consider when faced with child gut health issues, as treatments may need to differ from a course of action used to manage the same issue in an adult.

Most research has focused on describing healthy adult microbiomes, and most GIT map tests are measuring the health of adult microbiomes. Of the little evidence there is on the healthy child microbiome, it seems the following may be true:

  • Firstly, the child's gut microbiome changes a significantly from the minute of birth until adulthood.
  • Secondly, a child's gut microbiome is less diverse than the adult biome but still healthy. 
  • Thirdly, a child's gut microbiome has a distinctly different species composition and abundance compared to adult microbiomes, and this changes significantly during child development phases. 
  • Fourthly, the child's gut microbiome seems to deliberately induce stages of inflammation at critical stages of childhood development. The suggestion is that it’s training the immune system to sync with the environment biome.
  • Lastly, a child's gut microbiome is more vulnerable to damage that may last a life time.

Gut health is complex and there is still so much to be known about how it drives our health and well being over a life time.  

Evidence-based approaches to treating the child gut microbiome, combined with a course of treatment involving minimal intervention, both reduces the risk of undesirable outcomes and increases the chance for better long-term health outcomes.

If you’re struggling with a child gut health problem - such as severe constipation or childhood reflux - book a free Q&A to discuss the best evidence-based treatments and safest interventions for your child's gut health. 

More reading:

https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0092867416303981?token=FB41C1517A15CA73914E99455B165EAB418D1471B790EB6B972D5C920B5C12FBB8A4DDE1D3895F6428AA049DE87D1D90

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17183-8

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32703946/

Photo of Robyn Cogger from Arising Health


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