I saw this on the news the other night and found it interesting. Thought I'd share...
WIStv.com Columbia, SC: Dogs appear to protect some babies from allergies
(National-NBC) December 7, 2006 - Living with two or more dogs appears to protect some babies from allergies, according to a new study from the University of Cincinnati.
Kids who lived with multiple dogs were more than two times less likely than other children to wheeze. The kids also lived with high levels of endotoxins - which are compounds produced by bacteria commonly found in feces.
Researchers say they aren't sure how or why the children were protected. Studies are ongoing.
Dec 9, '06
This is the Hygiene Hypothesis. The idea is that living in a quite clean environment without 'crud' challenging the immune system allows the immune system to go into overdrive against things that really aren't trouble, like pollen, dust etc. Studies have demonstrated that children raised on farms have fewer allergies. Their immune systems are busy filtering all the crud on the farm so they don't turn against them and react to things they shouldn't.
I read about these things because of my allergies and asthma.
Hygiene Hypothesis: Are We Too "Clean" for Our Own Good?
Last edit by Multicollinearity on Dec 9, '06
: Reason: ad link