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While it is widely recognized that nutrition during pregnancy and lactation can affect the microbiome of breast milk as well as the formation of the infant gut microbiome, we are only just beginning to understand the extent to which maternal diet impacts these microbiomes. Given the importance of the microbiome for infant health, we conducted a comprehensive review of the published literature to explore the current scope of knowledge regarding associations between maternal diet and the breast milk and infant gut microbiomes. Papers included in this review assessed either diet during lactation or pregnancy, and the milk and/or infant gut microbiome. Sources included cohort studies, randomized clinical trials, one case-control study, and one crossover study. From an initial review of 808 abstracts, we identified 19 reports for a full analysis. Only two studies assessed the effects of maternal diet on both milk and infant microbiomes. Although the reviewed literature supports the importance of a varied, nutrient-dense maternal diet in the formation of the infant’s gut microbiome, several studies found factors other than maternal diet to have a greater impact on the infant microbiome.
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Taylor, Rachel; Keane, Deirdre; Borrego, Paulina; and Arcaro, Kathleen, "Effect of Maternal Diet on Maternal Milk and Breastfed Infant Gut Microbiomes: A Scoping Review" (2023). Nutrients. 24.