How farms protect against childhood asthma



The incidence of asthma in children has been increasing in recent decades, however numerous studies have shown that children growing up near farms are less at risk. And, according to a new German study, the hitherto unexplained phenomenon is associated with intestinal microbes. The human microbiome, as it is called the set of microorganisms that live on and inside us, has been associated in recent years with a variety of diseases, from obesity and diabetes up to behavioral disorders. Immediately after birth, the human gut begins to be colonized by germs from the mother and the environment, which come in contact with cells of the immune system and affect their action. The composition of the intestinal microbiome fluctuates greatly in the first months of life, but tends to stabilize around the age of one year and remains largely stable in adulthood. “Farms are linked to the maturation of the intestinal microbiome in the first year of life,” said Dr. Martin Nepner, co-author of the study published in Nature Medicine. The researchers say the link between the microbiome and asthma was to be expected, but they were surprised by the strong effect the study revealed. Depner and his team analyzed samples. feces of 700 children who grew up near farms up to the age of 12 years old and participating in the PASTURE program – a large cohort study that has been going on for almost 20 years with funding from the European Commission. The analysis showed that natural childbirth (as opposed to caesarean section) and breastfeeding protect against asthma, possibly due to contact with maternal germs that affect the immune system of newborns. In addition, it has been shown that the risk of developing asthma is inversely proportional to the levels of butyric acid in the stool. Butyric is a short-chain fatty acid that has been found to protect against asthma in previous studies in mice. The researchers conclude that the protective effect of farms may be linked to bacteria of the genus Roseburia and Coprococcus that produce butyric acid. Indeed, children with mature intestinal microbiome had higher levels of these bacteria than children whose microbiome had not yet stabilized. “Our study provides further evidence that the gut may affect lung health,” he said. Dr. Marcus Ege of Von Hauner Children’s Hospital, member of the research team. “This reinforces the idea that there is a gut-lung axis in humans,” he said. as probiotics to prevent asthma, the researchers point out. They also say that the protective effect may be associated with germs in raw milk, but this is difficult to study because the consumption of unpasteurized milk is dangerous. in Munich has already started a clinical study on the effect of mildly processed milk in the prevention of asthma and allergies. Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest news from Greece and the world, at



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