New research by scientists from the University of British Columbia and the B.C. Children’s Hospital have found that an infant’s exposure to good gut bacteria could prevent asthma.
Families from across Canada participated in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) study.
After analyzing fecal samples from over 300 children, scientists found that if children, younger than three months, were exposed to four specific types of gut bacteria their chances of developing asthma decreased.
“This research supports the hygiene hypothesis that we’re making our environment too clean. It shows that gut bacteria play a role in asthma, but it is early in life when the baby’s immune system is being established,” said the study’s co-lead researcher B. Brett Finlay.
Researchers will move on to test a larger group to confirm their findings and find out how the bacteria influence asthma development.