Can Adding Bacteria To An Infant’s Food Prevent Asthma?

Quick, what do you know about Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira,Veillonella, and Rothia? Not much? Join the rest of us. But these four bacteria, FLVR for short, can really impact a child’s chances of developing asthma if given in the first three months of life.

Think of it as a bacterial gut vaccine or gut grass seed to avoid inflammation later in life. But why do we need them now? Asthma rates have been increasing dramatically in recent years. “Increased use of prenatal and perinatal antibiotics, increased urban living, and formula feeding in infancy may all play a role.”

The researchers were so impressed by their findings, they are hustling to patent their results. Currently, you can’t buy this mix anywhere, and your pediatrician is unlikely to know anything about it. Part of the problem is that we all have been taught to fear bacteria. “We need to revisit our relationship with bacteria,” Turvey says. “Our species have coevolved with them, and they’re really important for our health.”

My own contribution to increasing our knowledge has been a short book, Tending Your Internal Garden, in which I point out some current myths about our bacterial internal world and even some possible solutions.


2 Replies to “Can Adding Bacteria To An Infant’s Food Prevent Asthma?”

  1. I claim that Vienna suddenly quit spitting up at 14 months old as soon as she started eating tons of dirt whenever we went outside (she would literally bite into a chunk of sod I dug up like it was a giant piece of chocolate cake). People think I’m joking but I’m serious.

  2. Thanks for the comment! Yes, I think that probably was it, but I can’t recommend that to young mothers. (Prescription: eat dirt, sounds a bit aggressive and I have no idea what’s in the dirt). Instead, we’re in that strange middle ground where our probiotics haven’t kept pace with what we know about what we should be getting.

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