New bread could help prevent asthma

A loaf of sourdough bread is cut in half, with the halves stacked on top of each other to show the interior. The bread sits on a grey table with a dark grey wall behind.

Scientists in Brazil have developed a bread using prebiotic yeast that has the potential to help prevent asthma.

Among the probiotics used in the bread is Saccharomyces cerevisiae UFMG A-905: a main strain of brewer’s yeast with probiotic properties that appears to minimise asthma symptoms  in mice.

According to Meteored, other studies have shown that live Saccharomyces cerevisiae UFMG A-905 can help prevent asthma, but the Brazilian scientists wanted to develop a bread to most effectively apply its potential.

Article author and Professor at the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, Marcos de Carvalho Borges said the product has significant potential.

“Bread is a natural food consumed by almost everyone including children. It’s easily distributed and has a good half-life on the shelf,” he said.

“We added encapsulated live yeast in order to improve viability and activity at the high temperature reached during the baking process.”

Prof Borges said it is the microcapsules that protect bioactive and probiotic compounds to improve their survival, stability and bioavailability. The bread that contained the enhancement in the form of the microencapsulated yeast appeared to have reduced airway hyper-responsiveness and the biomarker that indicated asthma.

Prof Borges said they had found both types of bread fermented with S. cerevisiae UFMG A-905  prevented the development of asthma in the mice.

“… which in conjunction with the results of the other experiments shows that this yeast has highly consistent effects and appears genuinely capable of combating this respiratory disorder,” he said.

Although trials have been conducted on mice, additional trials that involve humans will need to be completed, which can be a lengthy procedure.

The current findings have been published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition, and the scientists have also submitted a patent application for their research in Brazil.

It is thought around 300 million people around the globe suffer from asthma.

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