Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs, has increased at a troubling pace. While outdoor environmental changes are prime suspects—industrialized nations have seen cases soar—innermost worlds are also being explored.
Gut microbes are being questioned.
For instance, it is known that when diversity of guy microbes is low during a baby’s first year of life, allergies are more likely.
Does this also increase odds of having allergies later in childhood?
A new study in Clinical and Experimental Allergy asked that question: researchers analyzed microbial composition of stool samples at one week, one month and one year in 47 infants.
Allergic disease was then tested for at 7 years of age.
Eight children developed asthma and had lower diversity of total microbiota than the healthy children at one week and one month. Lower diversity at 12 months didn’t predict asthma.
The authors concluded: “ Measures affecting microbial colonisation of the infant during the first month of life may impact asthma development in childhood.”
Modes of delivery (Cesarean or vaginal) and methods of nourishment (breast or bottle) will impact baby’s gut microbes.
How exactly do microbes affect allergic sensibilities?
While not precisely known, scientists are getting there. For one, probiotics are important immunomodulators, spawning regulatory T cells which can turn off inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect is thought by researchers to be a possible mechanism for the benefit of probiotics in asthma.