Childhood Development and the Microbiome: The Intestinal Microbiota in Maintenance of Health and Development of Disease During Childhood Development.

The composition of the intestinal microbiome affects health from the prenatal period throughout childhood, and many diseases have been associated with dysbiosis. The gut microbiome is constantly changing, from birth throughout adulthood, and several variables affect its development and content. Features of the intestinal microbiota can affect development of the brain, immune system, and lungs, as well as body growth. We review the development of the gut microbiome, proponents of dysbiosis, and interactions of the microbiota with other organs. The gut microbiome should be thought of as an organ system that has important effects on childhood development. Dysbiosis has been associated with diseases in children and adults, including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma, and allergies.

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