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Good gut bacteria might prevent asthma development

UBC Research Study Shows Link Between Good Gut Bacteria & Asthma

New research from the University of British Columbia (UBC) recently found that good gut bacteria might act as a preventive measure against the development of asthma. While this is great news for asthma sufferers, studies indicate that biomarkers of good gut bacteria disappear by a child’s first birthday, meaning there may be a very narrow window in which to act. Researchers are hopeful that therapeutic inoculation with four beneficial bacteria strains—Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, and Rothia (FLVR)—administered within this narrow window of infancy could help prevent the development asthma later on in the infant’s life.

In the study, 300 children were screened using the Asthma Predictive Index (API). Researchers found that children with abundant FLVR had a much lower risk of being diagnosed with asthma later in life. By contrast, children with low levels of these microbes were at greater risk of developing asthma. This is because research indicates high levels of FLVR correlate to lower levels of inflammation.

Identifying a child’s FLVR levels might help to determine which children are at the greatest risk of developing asthma. Introducing higher levels of these good gut bacteria might, therefore, prevent inflammation that leads to asthma.

Possible reasons for infants lacking strong levels of FLVR include the use of prenatal and perinatal antibiotics, urban growth, and formula feeding (which lacks natural microbes found in breastmilk).

With further study and data, good gut bacteria therapies for infants could develop that help prevent inflammation that is linked to asthma. The research team is already looking forward to developing a microbe-based treatment intended to prevent asthma. Such a treatment would be administered to children with a particularly high risk of developing asthma.

The link between FLVR levels and inflammation risk marks a new and important advancement in early asthma diagnosis and prevention. Studies of this nature continue to shed light on causes and treatments of asthma.

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