Scientists have linked the dearth of four types of gut bacteria to asthma, the respiratory disease that has risen explosively in the past 50 years and now afflicts up to a fifth of children in Western countries.
The researchers discovered that low levels of the bacteria in newborns put them at an increased risk of getting asthma later in life. Infants usually acquire bacteria naturally and are protected. But the increased prevalence of certain events—the use of antibiotics by pregnant women, delivery by caesarean section, urban living and formula feeding—may make it harder for newborns to acquire the needed bacteria, scientists say.
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For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam