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Study examines preventing asthma in children

A groundbreaking new study in California examines whether it's possible to prevent asthma in children. The research is the first of its kind in the United States. KPBS reporter Beth Ford Roth has details.

Doctors say there are several ways to treat asthma, but no real way to prevent it from developing in children. That's why researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have started a three-year study to determine if giving infants so-called pro-biotic supplements could delay or prevent the lung disease. Dr. Michael Cabana of UCSF says the supplement is Lactobacillus, which is found in yogurt and other foods.

Cabana: In this case we think the probiotic bacteria will stimulate the immune system at the right time and in the right population, to prevent the development of asthma in kids, we hope.

Researchers are in the process of recruiting pregnant women for the study who have asthma or whose partner has asthma. That's because children whose parents have the disease are at greater risk of developing it themselves. Beth Ford Roth, KPBS News.

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