Children living on a farm have lower risk of getting asthma and other allergies?

Children who experience their earliest childhood on a farm, achieves greater protection against possibly asthma and other allergic disorders than other children.

Protection is greater if the baby is exposed to the rural influences in its very first years of life, according to a study in the prestigious journal The Lancet (2001).

Behind the study are researchers from children's Hospital in Salzburg in Austria, and they have examined the situation of children in rural areas and agricultural environments in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It turned out that children who were exposed to influences from farming environments, and who drank the farm's own milk, were less likely to develop asthma.

"The results from our study can contribute to a better understanding of the background for the development of asthma and other allergies and perhaps help to form the basis for future prevention strategies on allergies", says the head of the project, Dr. Josef Riedler, for The Lancet.

With in the study included factors such as the children's the contact to pets and livestock, mothers work on farms, children's consumption of the farm's own products and the farm's milk and children's vaccinations.

The asthma-allergy Association, has absolutely no plans to change the current recommendations for parents with infants and small children.

"In the past we have seen isolated studies, pointing slightly in the same direction as the Austrian's. But we have also seen studies that show the opposite, so it's by no means over. Without knowing the new survey in detail, I can generally say that today we do not know enough about the environment's importance for children, we in no way want to change on our recommendations and advice ", says a source from the asthma-allergy Association.

Do you think this is due to improved immune system broguth on by the exposure of more bacteria earlier on in life? What do you think?


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