Keeping your children bacteria free might lead to asthma, says a new study. Canadian researchers from the University of B.C. and BC Children’s Hospital have discovered that babies at high risk of developing asthma have low levels of four types of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts – and replacing those microbes might prevent the disease. These bugs are typically acquired by babies from the environment.But use of antibiotics in early life, as well as other factors such as being born via C-section or having formula over breastfeeding can alter the makeup of “good” bacteria in the digestive system. This study supports the hygiene hypothesis that we’re making our environment too clean. Research was investigated fecal samples from 319 children and suggests the first three of life are a critical period for a baby’s developing immune system. Asthma affects about 300 millions people worldwide, but ironically it is western countries – not poorer, developing countries – where prevalence rates have risen dramatically since 1950s. The disease now affects up to 20% of children in developed countries like Canada.

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