About 6.2 million children in the U.S. are living with asthma, a chronic disease that can severely limit daily activities and impact quality of life.
Now, scientists are uncovering clues that could protect kids against this condition.
About one in every 12 kids suffers from asthma. It’s the leading chronic disease in children and the top reason for missed days, but what if there way to protect kids from this all-too common condition?
A new study found children who grow up on a farm are less likely to develop asthma. The reason is their guts!
“The gut communicates with the brain basically through an organ, basically, called the microbiome.” said Bruce Stevens, Ph.D, Professor of the University of Florida.
Researchers found children’s living on a farm are exposed to environmental factors that boost their gut microbiome. When scientists analyzed fecal samples, farm kids had more of the “good” types of gut bacteria that may protect them against asthma.
“Basically, there’s a chemical warfare that occurs between the good and the bad guy bacteria.” Dr. Stevens said.
Breastfeeding may also be a way to boost “good guy” bacteria in babies. Studies show breastfeeding is linked to lower rates of allergies, obesity and more diseases.
Some other general ways to protect kids against asthma include limit their exposure to secondhand smoke. If you don’t live on a farm, simply getting your child a pet might help.
Recent research shows early exposure to dogs and cats may have a protective effect when it comes to allergies and asthma.