The newborn digestive system undergoes many changes in the first few months of life. In order to support an infant’s nutrition, physiology and natural immunity, it must1,2:
- Acquire a microbiota that consists of billions of beneficial bacteria
- Develop the right levels of digestive enzymes
- Form a fully functioning gastrointestinal barrier
- Create a complex communication network with the rest of the body
With such a dynamic environment, it is hardly surprising that functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are common in infancy3,4.
- Bourlioux P et al. The intestine and its microflora are partners for the protection of the host. Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 78: 675-683.
- O’Toole PW & Conney JC. Probiotic bacteria influence the composition and function of the intestinal microbiota. Interdiscip Perfect Infect Dis 2008; 1-9.
- Iacono G et al. Gastrointestinal symptoms in infancy: a population-based prospective study. Dig Liver Dis 2005; 37(6): 432-438.
- Vandenplas Y et al. Prevalence and health outcomes of functional gastrointestinal symptoms in infants from birth to 12 months of age. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2015; 61(5):531-537.
- Hyman PE et al. Childhood functional gastrointestinal disorders. Neonate/toddler. Gastroenterol 2006; 130: 1519-1526.
- Van Tilburg MA et al. Prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders in infants and toddlers. J Pediatr 2015; 166: 684-689.
- Vandenplas Y et al. Gut health in early life: implications and management of gastrointestinal disorders. 2015. Essential Knowledge Briefing. Wiley, Chichester (2015).