Probiotics and Asthma

Asthma is a relatively common condition in infants and children. Asthma occurs when the bronchial tubes become narrowed. This can happen either because the bronchial tubes are squeezed from muscles outside of the lungs, or because they are blocked by mucus or swelling in the lungs. Asthma affects around 4 million children under the age of 18 each year. Asthma is a condition that can be treated with a variety of medications and treatments. There is even emerging evidence that some treatments, such as probiotics, can even help infants keep from developing asthma.

To understand how probiotics could help infants from developing asthma it is important to understand a little bit about how probiotics work, and what probiotics are. Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial to the human body. These bacteria play a central role in what is known as the “gut flora” – the balance of bacteria that exists in a person’s gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria serve a variety of purposes. For example, they help with digestion, and with the absorption of nutrients and minerals. These bacteria also help to boost the immune system.

It is in this affect on the immune system that probiotics can help infants keep from developing asthma. An infant is born with a clean gastrointestinal tract, with little or no bacteria. It is thought that, if the infant is subsequently exposed to little or no bacteria that the infant can have an imbalance in the immune system. This, in turn, can make an infant more susceptible to developing asthma. By using probiotics, parents of infants may boost their child’s immune system, and help to keep from developing asthma, or at least delay the development of asthma.

Probiotics are still in the early stages, as far as what we understand about how they can help our health. Still, the various clinical studies and scientific trials that have occurred thus far show great promise for what probiotics can do, not only for infants, but for older children and for adults as well

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