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Early years

05th Jul 2019

Study finds that breastfed babies have less antibiotic resistant bacteria

Melissa Carton


Another plus for breast milk.

A study has found that babies who are breastfed have less antibiotic resistant bacteria in their gut.

This was particularly true for babies that were breastfed for at least six months.

The study performed by the University of Helsinki analysed the genes of 16 mothers and babies over eight months.

It found that the breast fed babies had more antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) than their mothers.

According to Nature Communications when comparing the infants gut bacteria to their mothers;

“Infants shared 40% of their ARG and 37% of their MGE types in their guts with their mothers and correspondingly, 20 and 12% with breast milk.”


Over the years breast milk has been found to help improve the immune systems of babies and it can even help to prevent respiratory conditions like asthma.

The breast milk itself does contain bacteria that’s resistant to antibiotics but it’s the sugar in the milk that is most beneficial.

These sugars, such as Bifidobacteria, help to boost our body’s ‘good’ gut bacteria, which then works like a probiotic for our babies.

So there you have it. While us adults have to stock up on our Actimels, for our babies it’s as simple as having some breast milk.