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At least one out of 11 children—or 6 million—in the United States has a food allergy. (1)
While researchers are still uncertain about why children develop allergies in the first place, they do know that the health of the gut plays a very important role.
Just beneath the intestines, there lies a large mass of lymph tissue called the gut associated lymphoid tissues (GALT)—making the digestive tract the hub of your immune system.
You can support your baby's gut health from birth. Squirt a taste of coconut water kefir, made from the Kefir Starter, into your baby's mouth starting when he's a few days old.
The immune system works with the bacteria, viruses, and yeast living in the gut, identifying what is safe and what is not.
When the immune system is stimulated in just the right way, allergies do not develop. However, if the immune system is under-stimulated or over-stimulated, this can sensitize it to specific foods—leading to an allergy. The microbiome, or what we call the inner ecosystem, drives the development of the immune system. This process begins even before we are born. (2)
Recent research suggests that babies are colonized within the womb. (3) As the inner ecosystem begins to develop in utero, the immune system begins to develop.
How a baby is born also shapes the immune system.
For example, Maria Dominguez-Bello at the University of Puerto Rico has found that babies born via Caesarean section are more likely to inherit an inner ecosystem with bacteria from human skin, rather than the mother’s birth canal. (4) Babies born via C-section are also more likely to face immune-related disorders. (5)(6)
Professor Hans Bisgaard, head of the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood, explains that:
“It makes a difference if the baby is born vaginally, encountering the first bacteria from its mother's rectum, or by caesarean section, which exposes the new-born baby to a completely different, reduced variety of bacteria.”
In a large study with over 400 children, Professor Bisgaard found that the greater the diversity of microbes in the gut, the less likely a child is to develop an allergic response. (7) In other words, when the inner ecosystem is teeming with many different kinds of bacteria and yeast that work synergistically together, children (and adults too) are much less likely to suffer from allergies. These species work together, keeping you healthy. Diversity safeguards against any one organism—like Candida—from taking over.
According to Professor Bisgaard’s research, there is a direct link between the diversity of the inner ecosystem and the risk of allergies later in life.
We inherit much of our inner ecosystem from our mothers, but environment plays an important role too.
Here are our top three ways to reduce your child’s risk of developing an allergy:
Around the time your baby begins to experiment with solids, add a few teaspoons of coconut water kefir or the juice from fermented vegetables to her baby food. These small amounts of probiotics are just enough to keep the inner ecosystem teeming with beneficial microbiota that will not only help digest the new foods but will also build a strong immune system and a happier baby.
An estimated one in 11 children has a food allergy in the United States. While researchers have yet to determine an exact cause, they confirm that gut health plays an important role in allergy development. An immune system that is under-stimulated or over-stimulated may be sensitized to certain foods, causing an allergy.
A child’s inner ecosystem is influenced by their mother and the environment.
Here are three steps you can take to reduce your child’s risk of allergies:
Kefir has many benefits, including better digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It has been known for thousands of years for its anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties.
Kefir is an ancient cultured food, rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Kefir means "feel good" in Turkish, and that's just how you'll feel after drinking a glass in the morning! Easy and fun to make at home, it is superior to commercial yogurt. An absolute must after antibiotic use!
Unlike yogurt, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract and is simple and fun to make at home. To make kefir: Mix one packet with 1 quart of warm milk, cover and set at room temperature for 18-24 hours. Refrigerate and enjoy!
Each packet yields 1 quart of kefir, and can be reused up to 7 times. This means you can create 10 ½ gallons of kefir from one box!
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