Family Magazine

Does Dirt Prevent Allergies?

By Newsanchormom

This makes me feel a little better about adhering to the five second rule. I think it's okay to have little dirt and a few germs. I just think it's a tough balancing act. I don't want the kids to feel terrible all the time and I don't want them to build up zero immunities either. How do you balance those two things with your family? Are you a germ-a-phobe?
Does Dirt Prevent Allergies?

If infants encounter a wide range of bacteria they are less at risk of developing allergic disease later in life. This is the conclusion of research from the University of Copenhagen, which suggests completely new factors in many modern lifestyle diseases.
"In our study of over 400 children we observed a direct link between the number of different bacteria in their rectums and the risk of development of allergic disease later in life," says Professor Hans Bisgaard, consultant at Gentofte Hospital, head of the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood, and professor of children's diseases at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
"We have studied staphylococci and coli bacteria thoroughly, and there is no relation. What matters is to encounter a large number of different bacteria early in life when the immune system is developing and 'learning'. The window during which the infant is immunologically immature and can be influenced by bacteria is brief, and closes a few months after birth."
"So it makes a difference if the baby is born vaginally, encountering the first bacteria from its mother's rectum, or by caesarean section, which exposes the new-born baby to a completely different, reduced variety of bacteria. This may be why far more children born by caesarean section develop allergies."
-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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