Life stages: The changing microbiome
We all change as we move through life, and so does the microbiome, the living ecosystem which includes beneficial bacteria that exists on and inside each of us.
The big bacterial bang
Mums pass on a huge gift to their children: friendly bacteria. Babies born through the birth canal are believed to receive a coat of lactobacilli. Microbiome development then ramps up even further with breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, and the baby’s interaction with its natural environment.
These friendly bacteria will form the building blocks of the microbiome, which interacts with the baby’s developing immune and digestive systems.
Life-Space Probiotic for Pregnancy & Breastfeeding provides a variety of beneficial bacteria for new mums and mums-to-be.
Along with supporting healthy levels of beneficial gut bacteria during this important, hectic time, these probiotic strains can also assist in maintaining healthy vaginal flora.
With the introduction of solid foods at around six months, the diversity of your child's microbiome begins to grow at an astonishing rate.
These early years are all about encouraging bacterial diversity, though it can take a while for new parents to unlearn the idea that all germs are bad.
Yes, basic hygiene is important, but don't go overboard. Overuse of antibacterial products on household surfaces can reduce the range of bacteria your child is exposed to. Try natural household cleaners instead.
Day care centres and play groups can sometimes seem snotty, but regular contact with other kids is vital. Along with the occasional rotten cold, your child is getting a first-class education in bacterial diversity.
You can also help encourage diversity in these early years with Life-Space Probiotic Powder for Baby. It contains ten strains of beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, which may assist in reducing the risk of eczema in children with a family history, when taken during pregnancy, breastfeeding and the first two years of life.
Finding your feet
By three years of age, your child's microbiome has settled into a more stable composition, but exposure to a wide range of bacteria is still important.
Encourage your kids to play outside regularly and let them muck about in the dirt. Feed them plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and incorporate fibrous and prebiotic foods into their diets. Consider a family pet for an added dose of bacterial diversity. (Of course, a close-contact pet like a dog or cat is more bacterially useful than, say, a goldfish.)
Again, a probiotic supplement can also assist. Life-Space Probiotic Powder for Children contains 15 strains of beneficial bacteria, specially formulated to support microbiome health in kids between the ages of three and twelve.
Hitting your stride
A good, varied diet of fresh foods is an important part of what contributes to a healthy microbiome, and the good dietary habits you teach your kids will carry them through adulthood.
Make sure to include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, healthy whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and good quality natural yoghurt.
A healthy diet should contain plenty of fibre, which feeds our friendly bacteria.
As a bonus, throw in some fermented foods, such as lightly pickled vegetables or kefir.
The adults in your family can also support their microbiome health with Life-Space Broad Spectrum Probiotic, which contains 15 strains of beneficial bacteria.
Keeping up the pace
In our later years, the bacterial balance of the microbiome begins to change, and as we move past 60, bacterial diversity can naturally decrease.
Throughout our lives, and particularly as we get older, a balanced diet and regular exercise should remain a priority. Along with the fitness benefits, exercise has a positive effect on gut bacteria and immune system health.
If you have older relatives, you can help them stay active by including them in your family activities.
To further complement your bacterial diversity, Life-Space Probiotic for 60+ Years contains a wide range of beneficial bacteria to support general gut health and normal, healthy bowel movements.
Remember, whatever your stage of life, a rich, diverse microbiome can supporteveryday wellbeing and a healthy immune system.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Supplements should not replace a balanced diet.