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Good Gut Bacteria Promotes Better Cognition & Language Skills In Babies

According to new research, babies with may have improved cognition and .

Researchers at the have found a connection between a specific species of gut bacteria and better cognitive and language skills in infant boys. Over the course of the study, 400 were considered using data from the CHILD Cohort Study.


To analyze the babies’ gut health, the researchers considered the bacteria found in stool samples. Through this, they were able to identify “three different groups exhibiting similar dominant clusters of bacteria,” the explains. After this, the researchers evaluated the neural developments of the infant participants.

The children that presented the best cognitive and language skills were those with Bacteroidetes-dominant bacteria. This type of bacteria is one of few that produces sphingolipids, which is a metabolite responsible for the healthy .

In conclusion, the researchers found that the infants with high levels of Bacteroidetes, a type of gut bacteria, by their first birthday demonstrated better language and cognitive skills.

The researchers noted that there are small differences between the gut health of males and females. On average, females tend to have higher levels of Bacteroidetes, which may explain why they often demonstrate better neurodevelopment at an earlier age.

In addition, the researchers also identified a variety of factors that affect the overall levels of Bacteroidetes. Interestingly, they discovered that babies born via c-section were more likely to have lower rates. However, the following can conversely improve the presence of Bacteroidetes:

  • Breastfeeding
  • High-fiber diet
  • Exposure to dogs
  • Exposure to nature

The researchers hope that their findings will help diagnose and treat babies at risk of neurodevelopment disorders and/or delays, specifically or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). At this time, however, further research is required before the rates of Bacteroidetes can be used to indicate a potential diagnosis of that sort.

Additionally, more research is needed to re-confirm these findings and to better understand the link between gut health and neurodevelopment. This includes the extent to which other factors, such as stress, may also impact the development of language and cognitive skills.

They emphasized, however, that children with a low presence of Bacteroidetes will be developmentally behind later in life. But it does suggest that they could benefit from additional support to enhance their language and cognitive skills.

This isn’t the first study of its kind. Previous research conducted in the United States has also found a connection between Bacteroidetes and improve cognitive and language dexterity. For more information on how to support your child’s neurodevelopment and promote good gut health, we encourage you to speak to your healthcare provider.


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