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Children, Wellness

Annual Microbiome Issue: Microbiome Immune Response

Microbial Diversity Supports Health Immune Response and Healthy Skin in Infants


Maintaining healthy skin in infants has become a higher priority in recent years with a strong assertion that a higher biodiversity of early gut microbiota promotes appropriate immune responses regarding skin health and integrity. This study examines the patterns of microbial diversity which support healthy T-cell function during immune response.

Toll-like receptors (TLR) are important in recognizing the microbial diversity and mediate innate immune response pathways. The study explored the connection between intestinal microbial diversity in infants and the maintenance of skin health over the first 2.5 years of life with assessment at ages 6 months, 1 year and 2.5 years.

  • Those with higher abundance of Proteobacteria and Ruminococcaceae were associated with healthy skin.
  • Diversity of microbiota was associated with skin health.
  • Infants delivered vaginally had a high biodiversity of microbiota conferred upon them over the first year of life, but the difference did decrease over time.
Key Message:

This study continues to support the assertion that gut microbial diversity carries great importance in the maintenance of skin health of the first years of a child’s life. It further goes on to illustrate that even when a vaginal delivery is not possible, microbial diversity still develops, albeit at a slower pace than the vaginally delivered counterpart.

The development of the innate immune response was supported through the biodiversity of the microbiome. The resultant effects on the immune response promoted infant skin health.

Key Points:
  • Supporting a healthy microbiome of the pregnant mother helps to confer a biodiverse selection of microbiota to an infant.
  • Diversity of microbiota with the digestive tract is important for the healthy development of the innate immune response over the first 2.5 years of life.

Maternal Probiotic Ingestion Looks to Promote Skin Health in Children


Numerous studies have demonstrated the health-conferring benefit of perinatal probiotic use, but the long term effects have less certain results. This study examined the impact of maternal probiotic ingestion alone on health outcomes at 6 years of age. 415 pregnant women started the study and at 6 years, a total of 163 children were assessed for multiple factors with immune associated skin health included in the analysis.

At the end of the study the 6-year-old children, who have not supplemented with probiotics since birth, were assessed for several processes associated with immune response, with strong associations to healthy skin, with perinatal probiotic supplementation.

  • 6 year old children whose mothers supplemented with probiotics while pregnant displayed healthy immune skin responses.
  • Respiratory health seemed to be unaffected.
Key Message:

The power of a healthy microbiome can extend from mother to child. This is not only limited to early life stages, but shown to promote healthy immune response, specifically in the skin, at least to 6 years of age.

Key Points:
  • Even without using probiotics during the initial 6 years of life, the children still realized the benefits of their mother’s supplementation.
  • Starting out life with a diverse microbiome, provided by mom, yields potent maintenance of healthy immune response, especially in the skin for children.

Improvement in Human Immune Function with Changes in Intestinal Microbiota by Salcia


Salacia reticulate extract (SRE), a common plant used in Ayurvedic medicine rich in polyphenols and water-soluble dietary fiber, has been shown to support healthy blood sugar, weight and cholesterol levels. This study aimed to build on the results of rat studies showing support of cell-mediated immune function in the intestinal epithelium after SRE administration.

Immune function and intestinal microbiota were monitored in response to the administration of SRE in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 30 men, aged 50-60 years old, over the course of 4 weeks.

  • T-cell proliferation had a significant increase in the SRE group over placebo.
  • SRE group showed significant increases in Bifidobacterium and decreases in Clostridium bacterial families.
Key Message:

Through dietary changes alone, one can support immune function with a shift towards a younger phenotype.

Key Points:
  • The aging adult can still benefit from dietary changes, regardless of age.
  • Support of healthy microbiota balance in the digestive tract supports a healthy immune response.
  • Positive impact of the immune response can be seen in as little as 4 weeks with the support of intestinal microbiota through dietary increases of polyphenols and water-soluble fibers.

  1. West CE, Rydén P, Lundin D, Engstrand L, Tulic MK, Prescott SL. (2015). Gut microbiome and innate immune response patterns in IgE-associated eczema.45(9):1419-1429. doi:10.1111/cea.12566. Available at: Accessed August 25, 2016
  2. Simpson MR, Dotterud CK, Storrø O, Johnsen R, Øien T. (2015). GPerinatal probiotic supplementation in the prevention of allergy related disease: 6 year follow up of a randomised controlled trial. BMC Dermatol.15:13. doi:10.1186/s12895-015-0030-1. Available at: Accessed August 25, 2016
  3. Oda Y, Ueda F, Utsuyama M, et al. (2015). Improvement in Human Immune Function with Changes in Intestinal Microbiota by Salacia reticulata Extract Ingestion: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. PLoS One.10(12):e0142909. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142909. Available at: Accessed August 25, 2016
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