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Want to set your child up for lifelong health? Go with your gut

Every year, about 120 million children around the world develop pneumonia and about 1.8 million children under 5 die of the disease. But that number may be about to come down, thanks to the work of researchers affiliated with two children's hospitals in Pennsylvania and Ohio. They found that cultivating healthy gut bacteria in newborn mice strengthened their lungs' ability to fight off pneumonia.

It stands to reason that the same is true for humans. And that shouldn't be surprising. Scientists have long known that an infant's microbiome – including bacteria, fungi, and viruses – has an outsized impact on the child’s health and immunity, even into adulthood.


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