Document Detail

An anthroposophic lifestyle and intestinal microflora in infancy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12485315     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The intestinal flora is considered to have an impact on the development of the immune system. In the anthroposophic lifestyle, a diet comprising vegetables spontaneously fermented by lactobacilli, and a restrictive use of antibiotics, anti-pyretics and vaccinations, is typical. The aim of this study was to assess the gut flora in infants in relation to certain lifestyle characteristics associated with anthroposophy. Sixty-nine children < 2 years of age with an anthroposophic lifestyle, and 59 infants of a similar age with a traditional lifestyle, were clinically examined and questionnaire replies assessed. Fecal samples were analyzed by bacterial enumeration, bacterial typing through biochemical fingerprinting and by measuring microflora-associated characteristics (MACs). The numbers of colony-forming units (CFU)/g of feces were significantly higher for enterococci and lactic acid bacteria in children who had never been exposed to antibiotics (5.5 x 107 vs. 2.1 x 107; p < 0.001 and 10 x 107 vs. 4.1 x 107; p < 0.01, respectively). Furthermore, the number of enterococci was significantly higher in breastfed and vegetarian infants (p < 0.01). The diversity (Simpson's diversity index) of lactobacilli, as determined by biochemical fingerprinting, was higher in infants born at home than in those born in hospital (p < 0.01). Several MACs were related to specific lifestyle features, and infants with an anthroposophic lifestyle had a higher proportion of acetic acid and a lower proportion of propionic acid in their stool as compared to the control children. In conclusion, lifestyle factors related to the anthroposophic way of life influenced the composition of the gut flora in the infants. These differences may contribute to the lower prevalence of atopic disease previously observed in children in anthroposophic families.
Johan S Alm; Jackie Swartz; Bengt Björkstén; Lars Engstrand; Johan Engström; Inger Kühn; Gunnar Lilja; Roland Möllby; Elisabeth Norin; Göran Pershagen; Claudia Reinders; Karin Wreiber; Annika Scheynius
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0905-6157     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatr Allergy Immunol     Publication Date:  2002 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-12-17     Completed Date:  2003-07-25     Revised Date:  2008-05-28    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9106718     Medline TA:  Pediatr Allergy Immunol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  402-11     Citation Subset:  IM    
Sachs' Children's Clinic, Söder Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Anthroposophy* / psychology*
Bacteria* / isolation & purification
Child Welfare
Child, Preschool
Colony Count, Microbial
Family Health
Feces / chemistry,  microbiology
Hypersensitivity, Immediate / diagnosis,  microbiology,  therapy
Infant Food / microbiology
Infant Welfare
Infant, Newborn
Intestines / microbiology*
Life Style*
Severity of Illness Index
Statistics as Topic
Sweden / epidemiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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