The Dairy Life For Me: Why Growing Up On The Farm Could Lessen Allergies

farm lifeThe excitement of a good old-fashioned farm life can be seen in a multitude of ways.

For one, those who grow up in such an environment get to experience an early appreciation for nature, not to mention an active lifestyle that’s spent primarily outside.

That being considered, they still tend to suffer less from allergies than the rest of us.

Although there’s an ample amount of floating animal dander, pollen, and dust circulating a young farm boy’s main environment, rural youngsters don’t experience as many allergy symptoms as urban children tend to. Children on dairy farms seem to have an advantage, admits Swedish analysts who realized in a study that children living on dairy farms had just a tenth of the risk for getting allergies relative to urban youth.

The study found that children with less mature B-cells at birth are more likely to have increased allergy symptoms between 18 and 36 months. B cells help the immune system by making antibodies. “Our study also demonstrated for the first time that delayed maturation of the immune system, specifically B-cells, is a risk factor for development of allergies,” admitted Anna-Carin Lundell, PhD.

Furthermore, these children’s mothers probably helped to provide them with prenatal exposure of dairy farm germs, making it so they had more mature B cells at birth. This combination of factors keeps them safe from later allergies.

“We need to identify the specific factors on dairy farms that strengthen protection against allergies and appear to promote maturation of the immune system as early as the fetal stage,” Lundell continued, further admitting that this body of research appears to back the allergy hygiene theory, which theorizes that antibiotic soaps and cleaners cause immune dysfunction (and, by default– more allergies).

Though the researchers couldn’t put their finger on the precise reason for what is so special about dairy farm life in regards to fewer allergies, they admit that these findings give mothers an awesome reason to go check out local farms every once in awhile. And even if you don’t live near a farm, we’ve got you covered: simply having a pet when you’re expecting can help improve your baby’s prenatal immune system– and its strength against allergies.

Always remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Kemm Ell Zee

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