"Too-Clean" Environments Tied to Childhood Asthma
Allowing newborns to be exposed to their environment instead of keeping them wrapped up and protected may help reduce their chances of developing asthma.
A study published in Translational Medicine found that 3-month-old infants with higher risk for asthma were shown to have lower levels of four gut bacterium typically found in the surrounding environments. The researchers say this study provides strong evidence that we’re making our environments ‘too clean’ for infants during an important period of early life when their immune systems are developing.
The team analyzed fecal samples from 319 children who were participants in Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study. After also studying infants at one-year old, they found lower levels of FLVR, further suggesting environmental exposure during that first three months of life is critical.
Furthermore, the results were also duplicated in a study on mice, where newborn mice were injected with FLVR and later developed asthma that was ‘less severe’ than mice that were not injected.