Food allergies are so common that airlines don’t hand out peanuts anymore.

Medically unnecessary cesarean sections (CS) are so common that women book them like hair appointments.

Are the two disturbing trends linked? Absolutely.

Babies delivered by CS host a different colonization pattern of the gut microbiota than the vaginally birthed. These CS-induced alterations are associated with an altered immune development that may manifest as food allergies.

I recently explored the research on how an altered gut microbiota induced by CS can lead to food allergies in children.

Cesarean Section & Food Allergy: A Role for Probiotics? appears at the International Probiotics Association (IPA) website. Don’t miss the exhaustive content:

  • Read about how CS overuse is rife in developed countries and may lead to adverse short- and long-term health effects. Notably, CS is a surgical procedure with a higher risk of maternal and child death than vaginal birth.
  • Discover how and why the gut microbiota is different with CS.
  • Learn how disrupted gut microbiota can lead to allergic responses to foods.
  • And finally, look at the evidence for probiotic interventions.


“The current high rate of CS delivery has resulted in alterations in microbiota and immunological development, and certain species are crucial throughout critical stages of development. A causal link between the dysbiosis associated with cesarean section and food allergy is emerging. Altering gut microbiota with probiotics may reverse some of that impact. Such an approach may be preferable to vaginal seeding — the mother’s vaginal fluid is used to colonize the newborn gut — which may be ineffective or unsafe.” 

Related blog:

Matters of Diversity in the Microbiota