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Have your children grown up on a farm or with many furred pets? They may have an advantage over kids who haven’t. Despite the fact that such environments have typically been assumed to increase the likelihood of developing allergies, new research shows quite the opposite: infants only have more to gain from being exposed to such bacterial diversity.
In a study conducted in Germany on infants that lived in farm and non-farm environments, the results showed that children who lived on farms carried more bacterial diversity than the non-farm group. As a result, carrying more diversity in their nasal passage and gut at infancy lead to a lower risk of developing allergies and asthma.
In addition, a separate study conducted here in the U.S. showed that having furred pets such as cats and dogs played a key role in impacting the type of bacteria in the infant’s gut, as allergies are tied to the composition of certain bacterias. By developing a certain type of bacteria whilst having furred pets in the home, children were able to have increased bacteria diversity, yielding to a lower risk of developing allergies.
While all this is still on it’s way to being proven fully, for now, I think it’s fascinating to observe research that questions long-standing beliefs and assumptions we had about the environments in which we raised our kids. We’re still following the trail of research – but for now, I’m certainly a little pleased to have had dogs in my home for many years!
Source: Frontline Medical News