Gut microbes linked to asthma risk

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Gut microbiota are everywhere nowadays, both because we’re all walking around in giant clouds of them, and also because scientific study of them is booming. Now, scientists have pinned down four types of bacteria whose presence definitively prevents asthma—a chronic lung disease that would seem to have no business communicating with your nether regions.

But the two systems seem to be linked in a deep, developmental way. “What we’re learning is that the body is gut-centric in the way it sets up the immune system,” says Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University of British Columbia and an author of a Science paper on the results, published today. “We know there’s communication between the gut and different sites,” he says, whether it’s skin, eyes, or lungs.

“We are starting to discover this massive universe of bacteria,” Stuart Turvey, a University of British Columbia pediatrician says. And that includes the four bacteria they’ve found: Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, and Rothia. Scientists found that levels of these bacteria, which they’ve dubbed FLVR (pronounced “flavor”), were unusually low in the stool of Canadian children who were at risk for developing debilitating, problematic asthma later in life. And when they introduced these bugs into young mice and then induced asthma, the mice didn’t develop inflamed airways—pretty convincing proof that these bacteria were protecting against asthma.

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Read full, original post: Your gut microbiome could put you at a higher risk of asthma

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