How easy it would be to predict those diseases that we will suffer throughout life. It would pave the way a lot to be able to live in a simpler way.
Imagine that at birth they could tell you if this or that virus will affect you in this way or another or if you should never try that food because it will give you an allergy?
A research team from the University of British Columbia (UBC) seems to have come to the conclusion that at least the second part of the question can be answered after delivery.
And it is that, according to a study recently published in the scientific journal Cell Report Medicine, shows that the composition of the baby’s first stools is associated with whether or not the little one will develop allergies during their first year of life.
An important spectrum of time that thanks to this research can be covered in a reassuring way for fathers, mothers and babies.
The key to this «prediction»Is in the meconium.
That is, a thick, viscous, dark green substance that is composed of dead cells and stomach and liver secretions
The meconio lines the intestine of the newborn and can be observed, on a few occasions, after breaking water, in the amniotic fluid, or being expelled by the baby, mostly, in his first bowel movements.
It is in this substance, and thanks to the information it provides, where the key to the study of Columbia published.
“Our analysis revealed that newborns who developed allergic sensitization at one year of age had significantly less meconium at birth, compared to those who did not develop allergic sensitization,” says study co-lead author Dr. Dr. Brett Finlay, professor in the Michael Smith laboratories and in the departments of biochemistry and molecular biology, and microbiology and immunology at UBC.
We could define that meconium as a time capsule, which reveals what substances and situations the baby was exposed to before birth.
It is the existence, or rather the non-existence, of a substantial number of molecules in meconium that increases the risk that the child will develop allergies in the first year of life.
This reduction of molecules is also shown to be fundamental for the correct development of the microbiota, a huge and fundamental ecosystem of gut microbes.
Until now it was thought that the development of this did not begin within the mother’s womb, but the recent study published shows that yes, that “a healthy immune system and microbiota can begin long before the baby is born and indicates that the small molecules to those that are exposed in the uterus play a fundamental role in future health “, according to the words of the Doctor Petersen.
The treatment of data as a source of information
In addition to confirming that it is in that meconium where the source of wisdom is to know the allergic future, in the short term, of the newborn, the data must be treated correctly in order to take advantage of that prediction.
To confirm that the study is correct, and using artificial intelligence, it was programmed in the British columbia an algorithm combining meconium microbes and other clinical data to predict whether or not the babies in the study would have allergies during the first year of life.
With more than one 76% accurate the algorithm was able to determine which babies would suffer from allergies.
A fundamental fact since it will also allow to stop other conditions linked to these allergies.
A breakthrough of enormous implication to greatly improve the lives of newborns.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.