Breastfed Infants Have Higher Quality of Life Thanks to Friendly Gut Bacteria, Says Technical University of Denmark Study

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Dr. Farshid Sam Rahbar of Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology and Nutrition explains the implications of a new study linking infant health to beneficial gut bacteria to breastfeeding.

Farshid Sam Rahbar MD
As adults, we can help our young children be healthy through some simple and natural measures. By doing so, we can ensure that our children start life on the right foot.

According to a 2014 study led by the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark, infants who are breastfed develop friendly bacteria in the gut, lowering their risk of developing obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and other gastrointestinal disorders later in life. Additionally, this gut bacteria has been shown to boost the immune system, reducing a child’s risk of becoming sick or developing allergies.

For years, a number of studies have shown the benefits of breastfeeding, but this is the first study to definitively link breastfeeding to the development of a beneficial and healthy microbial population in the gut. Results showed major differences between infants who were breastfed and those who weren’t breastfed, including changes in gut bacteria between the ages of 9 months and 18 months.

“A healthy gut begins at a young age,” says Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD, FACP, of LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition. “As adults, we can help our young children be healthy through some simple and natural measures. By doing so, we can ensure that our children start life on the right foot.”

According to the study, infants who were breastfed had a higher amount of healthy gut bacteria than formula-fed infants, and these changes continued even after the cessation of breastfeeding. Up until the age of three, bacteria in the gut becomes more complex and stabilizes. With this new information, parents and gastroenterologists can help children develop a type of gut microbia that is beneficial to the immune system and promotes digestive health.

“Not only does breastfeeding lower a child’s chances of developing allergies and inflammatory bowel disease later in life, but it can help children develop gut microbia that has many positive effects on the body,” says Dr. Rahbar. “This information can allow parents to provide their children with a head start for a happy, healthy life.”

Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD, FACP, ABIHM, is a Los Angeles gastroenterologist at Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition. He incorporates anti-aging and functional medicine for an integrative-holistic approach to digestive care. Dr. Rahbar’s main clinical interests include: consultative gastroenterology, internal medicine, liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), clinical nutrition, occupational and environmental illnesses in relation to GI illness, preventive and functional medicine, toxic exposure and effects on the GI system, medical-legal services (AME), and clinical research.

Beyond his excellent analytical skills, Dr. Rahbar also delivers over 20 years of experience in technical aspects of gastroenterology, namely colonoscopy and endoscopy. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Rahbar is a member of La Peer Health Systems, an outpatient surgery center in Beverly Hills, CA.

To learn more about Dr. Farshid Sam Rahbar and LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, visit:

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