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Your early life shapes the mix of good and bad viruses in your gut

Your early life shapes the mix of good and bad viruses in your gut thumbnail


We are beginning to learn how different factors influence the mixture of viruses in the guts of young children, called the gut virome, but its importance for health is still unclear

By Carissa Wong

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19 March 2023

Viruses that infect gut cells or gut bacteria may get into babies’ bodies with their food

Halfpoint/iStockphoto/Ge​tty Images

Having older siblings may influence the mixture of viruses in babies’ guts, known as the gut virome.

While there has been a wealth of research on how gut bacteria influence our health, we know much less about the importance of viruses in the gut, which can have good and bad effects.

At birth, the guts of most babies are devoid of viruses, but in the first few years of life, viruses that infect gut cells …

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