Baby's Health: Digestive Tract Influences Child's Personality

 A toddler's tendency to have meltdowns during the day may be traced to his or her tummy's microbiome (the ecosystem found within the digestive system).

Researchers from Ohio State University studied the type of microbes found in a group of 77 kids between the ages of 18 and 27 months. They found that the abundance and diversity of certain bacterial species appear to impact behavior, particularly among boys.

The microbiome of a toddler's gut may influence their personalities. Scientists found correlations between temperament and the presence of specific types of intestinal bacteria in both girls and boys. 

Researchers are seeking clues to how chronic inflammatory challenges (such as asthma, allergies, obesity, and digestive disorders) begin in the gastrointestinal region. 

Billions of microbes populate the human body and can influence a child's behavior. There is substantial evidence that intestinal bacteria interact with stress. The analysis factored in the history of breastfeeding, diet, and the method of childbirth, which could affect the microbe population.

According to researchers, children whose gut microbes were the most genetically diverse kind of bacteria. Exhibited behaviors related to positive mood, curiosity, sociability, and impulsivity. 

So, mom and dad, you might want to keep this in mind: The type of gut microbes you - yourself - harbor within the digestive tract may influence your mood and temperament as well. 

Eventually, it leads to the question: how do we select foods and supplements that will support a diversity of intestinal bacteria for everyone in the family? 

Journal Reference:

  1. Lisa M. Christian, Jeffrey D. Galley, Erinn M. Hade, Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, Claire Kamp Dush, Michael T. Bailey. Gut microbiome composition is associated with temperament during early childhoodBrain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2015; 45: 118 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2014.10.018