A study performed by University of British Columbia links the colonization of gut bacteria to asthma, highlighting the importance of a healthy gastrointestinal microbiome.
Compared across 319 children from birth to three years of age, twenty-two were designated high-risk and eight from that group were diagnosed with asthma. The criteria were detection of low levels of the bacterial genera Lachnospira, Veillonella, Faecalibacterium, and Rothia from the collected fecal and urine samples. This study identified this trend in infants as young as three months of age which they defined as a critical period for attaining the appropriate microbiome. This is the time when the immune responses that protect the body from asthma develop. It is thought that gut bacteria communicate with mucosal surfaces throughout the entire body.
Factors that increase risk for asthma development via improper gut microbiome include bottle-feeding, early exposure to antibiotics, Caesarian section as opposed to natural birth, and living in cities rather than rural areas.
This study suggests a correlation between gut microbiota and asthma with compelling evidence but does not have a clear evidence-based connection to prove the link. Supporting evidence shows restoring these bacteria in mice improves inflammation in airways of the offspring, although this is not studied here in humans. Despite that fact, some ideas for treatment are being composed by the research group. Some treatments in the future could include a commercial flavored capsule that would introduce these 4 critical groups of bacteria into a child’s gastrointestinal tract.
Read more about the inspiration for this blog post here: https://www.aaas.org/news/missing-gut-bacteria-raises-infants-asthma-risk
Read about the link between the gut and lung (Gut-Lung Axis) here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6337651/
Authored by Nick Linzner
Nicholas Linzner grew up in Northridge, CA and has always cared deeply for animals and their interactions with the environment. He moved to San Luis Obispo, CA to complete a B.S. in Animal Science, with a minor in Equine Science in 2018. Shortly before graduating, he joined the team at RAHU in order to learn more about integrative veterinary medicine and contribute towards the growth of the company.