Prebiotics significantly reduce exercise-induced asthma symptoms

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We've got promising news for asthmatic runners: a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition has found that the symptoms of exercise-induced asthma can be significantly reduced by consuming more prebiotics.

The study, led by sport scientists at Nottingham Trent University, saw a group of adults with exercise-induced asthma receive either a prebiotic supplement (B-GOS) or a placebo supplement for three weeks, before switching over. Participants were given a laboratory-based hyperventilation test after each supplement to bring on the effects of exercise-induced asthma, as well as blood tests. Results from both tests were compared and showed that the prebiotic supplementation was linked to reduced levels of airway narrowing and inflammation.

"Our study shows that this particular prebiotic could be used as a potential additional therapy for exercise-induced asthma,” said lead researcher Dr Neil Williams, a lecturer in exercise physiology and nutrition. 

"We are only just starting to understand the role the gut microbiome plays in health and disease – and it is becoming increasingly recognised that microbes living in the gut can have a substantial influence on immune function and allergies which is likely to be important in airway disease."

Prebiotics, a form of carbohydrate that can't be digested by the human body, can be found in natural sources such as cooked and raw onions, banana and wheat flour.

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