Starting shortly after parturition, and continuing throughout our lifetime, the gut microbiota coevolves with our metabolic and neurological programming. This symbiosis is regulated by a complex interplay between the host and environmental factors, including diet and lifestyle. Not surprisingly, the development of this microbial community is of critical importance to health and wellness. In this targeted review, we examine the gut microbiome from birth to 2 years of age to characterize the role human milk oligosaccharides play in early formation of microbial flora.

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