The normal microbial content of human intestine plays an important role in our maintaining balanced and healthy immune responses.
While microbial colonization takes years to establish, during the first few months of life, neonatal diet may play a role in shaping the microbial ecosystem as evident from studies showing breast-fed infants have different microbes than formula fed infants.
Omega-3 fatty acids, like the ones found in fish oil, may have beneficial effects on an infant’s brain development.
Fish oil could be taken during breast-feeding or formula could contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Since it is currently unknown how this supplementation affects the microbial colonization of the infant’s gut, Dr. Gibson’s research laboratory at the University of British Columbia is looking at the role of omega-3 PUFA supplementation in both breast-fed and formula-fed infants on gut health. The study needs expecting parents or any caregiver with an infant of 0-6 months of age who would be willing to supplement their baby’s diet with omega-3 PUFA , and also those who would choose not to.
Interested volunteers simply collect their baby’s stool once a month and the research team will come right to their door to pick up the samples. Upon successful completion of the study, they will also receive a $20 gift card and, if interested, a professional interpretation of their baby’s poop print or the intestinal microbial patterns. For more information about the study, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-778-821-4512.