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Could altering the gut microbiota modulate pulmonary immune response as well as prevent and/or treat asthma?

  • After noting reductions in Lachnospira, Veillonella, Faecalibacterium, and Rothia abundances in the gut of asthmatic infants, researchers inoculated germ-free mice with these bacteria. Results showed ameliorated airway inflammation and prevention of asthma development.

  • In both rodent and human studies, strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium breve potentially prevented and treated allergies and asthma.

  • Lactobacillus strains reduced asthma severity and improved asthma control in a trial of 160 asthmatic children.

Importantly, not all studies show a clear benefit of probiotics in asthma.

A meta-analysis published in 2018 reviewed the effects of probiotics supplementation in pooled data from 11 studies with 910 asthmatic children. The proportion of children with fewer episodes of asthma was significantly higher in the probiotics group than in the control group but “no statistical significance was observed in childhood asthma control test, asthmatic symptom in the day and night, the number of symptom-free days, forced expiratory volume in the first second predicted and peak expiratory flow.”

Credit to: Clare Fleishman MS RDN