It is natural for parents to clean their child's environment. However, a new study suggests that being excessively clean is not that good at all.
According to the study published at the Science Translational Medicine, the risk of developing asthma is greater for 3-month-old infants who have lower levels of the four identified types of gut bacteria - bacteria that do not thrive in overly cleaned environments.
In order to arrive at this conclusion, the researchers from University of British Columbia (UBC) and the BC Children's Hospital in Canada analyzed the fecal samples of 319 children who were part of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study.
The study revealed that the four gut bacteria, namely Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, Rothia (FLVR), play a huge role in the development of asthma, especially in the early months of an infant.
"The study supports the hygiene hypothesis that we're making our environment too clean. It shows that gut bacteria play a role in asthma, but it is early in life when the baby's immune system is being established," Prof. B. Brett Finlay told Medical News Today (MNT).
Furthermore, the researchers also suggested that the first three months of a child is an important period for immunity development after they discovered that 1-year-old kids have lower levels of FLVR.
"This discovery gives us new potential ways to prevent this disease that is life-threatening for many children. It shows there's a short, maybe 100-day window for giving babies therapeutic interventions to protect against asthma," co-lead researcher Dr. Stuart Turvey of BC Children's Hospital told MNT.
According to MNT, the researchers conducted the study in order to determine the reason why asthma rates have substantially risen for the past years. It also noted that the research is the first study that associates gut bacteria to human asthma development.
Asthma, as defined by WebMD, is a chronic or long-term disease that causes the bronchial tubes or the airways of lungs to inflame and narrow. It is characterized by "increased production of sticky secretions" inside bronchial tubes.
WebMd furthered that the symptoms of Asthma includes coughing, often at night, wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, tightness of chess as well as feeling of pain or pressure in the lung area.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 9.3 percent or 6.8 million children in the United States currently have asthma, while there are a total of 8 percent or 18.7 million adults who have the disease.