What is the role of gut bacteria in the pathophysiology of breast milk jaundice?

Updated: Dec 07, 2017
  • Author: Prashant G Deshpande, MD; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Breast milk is an important source of bacteria in establishing infantile gut flora. Tuzun et al demonstrated that Bifidobacterium species in breast milk may protect against breast milk jaundice. [11]  The exact significance of this finding is unknown. A phase I trial that evaluated the safety and tolerability of Bifidobacterium longus subspecies infantis EVC001 supplementation in 34 healthy term breastfed infants compared to 34 who received lactation support alone found no differences between the groups in mean gestational age at birth, weight at postnatal months 1 and 2, and breast milk intake. [12]  B infantis supplementation was safe and well tolerated, and infants receiving this supplementation had fewer and better formed stools than those in the lactation support–only group.

Please see the Medscape Drugs and Diseases article Neonatal Jaundice for an in-depth review of the pathophysiology of hyperbilirubinemia.

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