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Medicine Science

Exposure to Wide Variety of Microbes May Reduce Allergies 120

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the introducing-whole-foods-gammaproteobacteria-shake dept.
sciencehabit writes "A new study reveals that people who grow up in more rural environments are less likely to develop allergies. The reason may be that environments rich with species harbor more friendly microbes, which colonize our bodies and protect against inflammatory disorders." From the article: "To test whether or not biodiversity does indeed create a shield against such conditions, the team investigated the microbial diversity of 118 teenagers. The study participants, who had lived in the same houses their whole lives, were chosen at random from a 100-by-150-kilometer block in eastern Finland. Some kids lived on rural, isolated farms, while others lived in larger towns. ... surveyed all of the types of plants growing around the adolescents' homes. The participants were part of a separate long-term allergy study, so the researchers took advantage of that data to investigate the connection between biodiversity and allergies. ... Whether there is just something special about Finland's native plants or whether this finding can be applied around the world is still an open question, Hanski says. 'Many research groups worldwide could easily attain these data from their study populations, and then we'd know how general these results might be.'"
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Exposure to Wide Variety of Microbes May Reduce Allergies

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  • Stupid scientists. All they can come up with are theories. I've got your theory RIGHT HERE!
    • Joking aside, I've heard--but cannot cite at the moment--that studies have shown that within just a few years of introducing water purification systems to a community, allergies become markedly more common. Of course, the flip side of this is that before the clean water (and allergies) people were getting sick or dying from the dirty water.
      • Re:Hrumph. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @03:46AM (#39925149) Homepage Journal

        If only there was some kind of compromise position - let's call it a "happy medium" - between living in hermetic sterility and getting cholera.

        • Re:Hrumph. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:24AM (#39925317) Homepage Journal

          There is! We call it the big blue room. Some people say it has no ceiling. I scoff at them.

          ...personally, I vote for mandatory rural daycare, followed by kindergarten in an industrial district, and so on. By retirement you may live in a glass bubble.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The back page of this months Discover listed a bunch of these. One particularly interesting factoid... some guy actually flew to Cameroon and walked around barefoot around latrines, exposing himself to hookworm. He successfully defeated his asthma and seasonal allergies, and now ships people hookworm larvae to apply to their skin on a bandage (at $3k a pop). Weird, eh?

          As for the topic of this one... it's old, old, old news. I don't know why it's making the rounds again. Previous versions of this relat

      • Re:Hrumph. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:22AM (#39925309) Homepage

        The risk/benefit seems to strongly favor water purification, but it seems we are going too far in other things these days. It's likely a natural outcome of the pervasive free floating fear in our culture today.

        • I live in fear of pervasive free floating fear.

          • by sjames (1099)

            AH! The dreaded phobophobia. We've tried to study that for years, but every time we attempt to recruit a patient they run away. Well, there was that one guy who quacked like a duck, but it turns out he was choking on a kazoo.

    • If you have a theory that explains the observations better than the theories that stupid scientists came up with, may we see it?
      • by azalin (67640)
        How about: If your immune system has nothing to do, it gets bored and will look for other things to fight. That does include triggering (sometimes sever) immune reactions for imaginary threats like pollen, cat hair or dust. Also a well trained immune system will be a lot better at fighting real threats, than one that was never really challenged.
        • by psydeshow (154300)

          How about: If your immune system has nothing to do, it gets bored and will look for other things to fight. That does include triggering (sometimes sever) immune reactions for imaginary threats like pollen, cat hair or dust. Also a well trained immune system will be a lot better at fighting real threats, than one that was never really challenged.

          I thought this was the mechanism as well. At least, that's the theory I've always heard. Is this a myth?

        • by mug funky (910186)

          this is starting to sound like the TSA...

  • by overbaud (964858)
    Are also less likely to come into contact with carcinogens in their food, air and water.
    • I'm not sure that's true. Rural areas include things like mines and oil wells and the like, which could easily leak poisons into the groundwater.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I don't think this applies to Finland, where the study was performed.

      • by Shavano (2541114)

        Not to mention weed killers and pesticides.

    • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki @ g m a i l . com> on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:27AM (#39925323) Homepage

      Are also less likely to come into contact with carcinogens in their food, air and water.

      Load of freaking shit. Until I was born my family was a farming family for a few generations, I still have a few friends in the business. One who does cattle(milk) 15k head(family owned), and another that does rotational crops from soy, corn and hay, to more rare stuff like ginseng and hemp. Sorry, but you get exposed to all sorts of really, really nasty stuff. On the field, and at your dinner plate. Because honestly, you're buying exactly the same stuff more often than not that everyone else does.

      On the upside, you also get exposed to just about everything that nature can throw at you before it hits the slaughterhouse too. From cowpox to chicken based colds to whatever else. And you're not cooped up inside for 18hrs a day(unless it's winter), which really helps.

    • Good point... but having had asthma for 20yrs now, I would gladly trade a disease that's made my entire life miserable for one that will simply kill me 10 years early.
      • Dogs (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Barbara, not Barbie (721478) <barbara.hudsonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @08:44AM (#39926881) Journal

        I used to have hay fever, pollen fever, even pollen from trees - kleenex wasn't enough - I'd go through rolls of paper towels, gobs of dristdan nasal spray, lots of anti-histamines, unable to sleep because I couldn't breathe ... nothing really worked.

        I was also allergic to dogs and cats - so I got a dog. Two months of absolute hell, 24/7, because he went with me everywhere ... then one day, it all just stopped. It's been almost two decades with no allergies to dogs, most cats (there was one who could stillmake my eyes water, for some reason) ... no hay fever or pollen allergies whatsoever ...

        Our systems evolved in an environment where they have to distinguish between pathogens that can harm you, and the innocuous stuff like pollen. They aren't all that good at doing the job when there aren't any nasties to "train" against.

        • So our immune system is kind of like a Bayesian spam filter?
        • I've found this to be true as well. Growing up trying all sorts of options [sylvane.com] recommended by doctors [webmd.com], different medications, and during allergy season, removing myself from any sort participation in outdoor activity all helped to a degree, but nothing really "solved" the problem. Two years ago I decided to stop taking the medications and actually make an effort to expose myself to the allergens that made me miserable. I know this is entirely anecdotal, but I haven't taken any allergy medications (even OTC) si
        • by riT-k0MA (1653217)
          I used to have problems with allergies until I was forced to take a triple-course of antibiotics for something unrelated. After that I took a course of probiotics to recreate my internal flora and suddenly my allergies ceased to exist.
    • I take it you have never seen the burn pile that so many farmers I see have. These things make 2 stroke diesel exhaust look clean.
  • Explains (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Explains why everyone in Amerika has one or the other food allergy, while they are pretty rare in India
    We dont need ban peanuts,etc from schools/cities,etc. the allergies arent so extreme(or maybe those with alleriges die off pretty soon)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, that comes from having medicine. Anyone with a serious allergy in India dies, so the tendency to have allergies is bred out of the population.

      • Re:Explains (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:32AM (#39925343) Homepage

        Nonsense. We have not had medicine (that works) long enough to see a significant effect from natural selection.

        Most of the problems are a result of our culture of fear and wrapping children in a protective cocoon. It is proven, for example that prenatal exposure to peanut proteans helps to prevent peanut allergies. As a result of mothers in the U.K. following bad advice and avoiding all peanut products during their pregnancy, there was an explosion of peanut allergies.

        Meanwhile, the strategy of total avoidance of anything that provokes even the slightest reaction has lead to a lot of mild allergies never being desensitized.

        Meanwhile, most allergies are of the minor itching or redness sort, not the OMG where is the epi-pen type, but you'd never know it from the media reports.

        • Re:Explains (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @06:49AM (#39925877)

          Really? Given that infant mortality has gone from several a generation to several generations per occurance in families, are you really sure that we don't see a substantial change in the population? While the gene pool is unlikely to change substantially in a few generations, the number of people who are living with genetic defects in the western world has increased immensely. Start with the extreme examples. People born with Down's syndrome didn't survive very long 100 years ago. People with cystic fibrosis didn't generally survive very long 100 years ago. Babies with GI troubles "failed to thrive" and died. Just because no major "evolution" has occured doesn't mean that the population is ithe same as a century ago.

          • by Gr8Apes (679165)
            If I only had mod points. Anyone that thinks we haven't had more significant changes over the past 5-8 generations than the last 30000 years with the exception of a few major plagues is smoking something.
          • by sjames (1099)

            Yes, really!!! How many thousands of years was it that the same diseases kept killing babies and we couldn't evolve our way out of it? And you think 3 generations of antibiotic availability have done more than those millennia?

            A few people not dieing doesn't necessarily cause an evolutionary change, particularly if they don't reproduce (indistinguishable from infant death as far as evolution is concerned). The increased allergies wouldn't be accounted for even if 100% of the babies that wouldn't have lived 1

        • by arcite (661011) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @08:10AM (#39926487)
          I was allergic to all kinds of nuts. I have lived all over Africa and no doubt been exposed to countless microbes, I am now allergy free. Pistachios used to be the worst, I couldn't even lick them or my throat would swell up. I now eat them by the bag. There is truth to this, our immune systems were not meant to be exposed to an environment soaked in bleach and disinfectant.
  • Again? (Score:5, Informative)

    by clickclickdrone (964164) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @02:19AM (#39924779)
    Hardly news, it's been reported many times over the last few years that research indicates our overly sterile environment is causing problems with alergies, asthsma etc. Heck, even our grandparanents knew this with old wives tales about eating dirt to make you healthy. A collegue from India tells me they have a ceremony involving putting some mud or something in a babies mouth to encourage a healthy defence mechanism.
    • I've heard that HYPOTHESIS before, but don't think I've heard it tested like this before. Anyway, scientific results should be replicated. And old wives tales and Indian ceremonies are poor bases for medicine.
      • Re:Again? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:35AM (#39925353) Homepage

        You'd be amazed how much medicine is "old doctor's tales" or the result of taking advertising claims at face value.

        At any rate, this particular set of "old wives tales" seems to be backed by modern scientific evidence, from the study in TFA and others.

        • A study based on 118 people in a geographically narrow area based on a sample at one time of biological diversity is absolutely NOT the sort of thing that you would want to base any kind of decision on.

          It's ridiculous that this sort of thing gets in to the popular press. It's pure garbage science.

          • by sjames (1099)

            It is one study amongst many. They all point in the same direction.

      • by pev (2186)

        Absolutely seconded. It's amazing what people believe. For example, in the the middle ages people used to believe that treating pussy wounds with bread with a blue mould would help. Such poppycock would be a preposterous basis (sic) for medicine.

      • by JamesP (688957)

        Yes, because the only observations that are true is what comes from a lab, right?

        Vaccines come from the exact kind of observation the parent mentions, sure it was tested.
        But of course, modern "web scientists" only consider "research" that comes from lab financed companies

        But if you want to test it, sure, go ahead, because obviously you know better than several years of immune system research

         

        • Yes, because the only observations that are true is what comes from a lab, right?

          Please, point out where I said that.

    • by jkflying (2190798)

      Yeah, interesting that allergies and asthma are both linked to immune response. So are autoimmune diseases, which are also on the rise.

    • Re:Again? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Mattsson (105422) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @05:41AM (#39925597) Homepage Journal

      But this seems more focused on finding the mechanism behind why growing up in a "dirty" environment leads to fewer allergies.
      Possibly, this could lead to a "cure" for those growing up in unhealthy environments, like having overprotective parents, living in a large city or for other reasons being unable to have a healthy childhood environment.
      Maybe it is possible to develop something like those yoghurts with bacteria that helps people with an unhealthy or too sterile diet keep a working digestive system but for people who need something to keep them from developing allergies instead.

      • by psydeshow (154300)

        Maybe it is possible to develop something like those yoghurts with bacteria that helps people with an unhealthy or too sterile diet keep a working digestive system but for people who need something to keep them from developing allergies instead.

        I think they call that "camping".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slashdot is a fucking mess now days. They need some real editors.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @02:19AM (#39924783)

    It has already been shown that the children growing in "dirtier" surroundings develop less allergies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1868862/ . This study shows that there is a correlation between flora diversity near home and allergy rates with people growing up nearby each other.

  • by samjam (256347) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @02:21AM (#39924793) Homepage Journal

    Clearly the human body sets strict targets for pathogens identified and the immune system is pushed to find enough pathogens, even finding subversive and insurgents among friendly substances, even in itself, if that is what is required to meet the targets.

    We see the same thing in the operation of government and security forces. We see similar bad behaviour as education and health systems struggle to meet centrally set targets and commence a path of undesirable behaviour in order to meet the target and obtain the incentive.

  • Thanks Unknown Lamer for actually doing some editing on the summary and providing useful information. Keep it up.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you have allergies, it is a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what nature intended.
    People with allergies will very likely be less suscebtible to viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa.

    I have hayfever (allergy), my gf doesn't. She get's flue infections every year. I havn't had one in 4 years...

    http://news.yale.edu/2012/04/25/why-hay-fever-may-be-good-sign

    • I don't get 'flu infections and have no known allergies. Just generally eating what you should (i.e. fruit, vegetables) and drinking right (i.e. sufficient water every day) works a treat for me.

      Then again, I also drink enough alcohol on a weekly basis to ensure that my innards are sterile and no foreign life can subsist within me. Take that, gut bacteria.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have hayfever (allergy), my gf doesn't. She get's flue infections every year. I havn't had one in 4 years...

      I'm an amateur "chimney sweep" and wish to offer my services.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, allergies are a sign that your immune system is broken.

      Allergies are your immune system reacting to completely trivial things and taking it to 11.

      Allergies are "oh hey, what's that? THE AIR. OH GOD IT KNOWS, HE HAS COME TO GET ME BACK FOR NOT PAYING HIM PROTECTION MONEY" and goes absolutely insane.

      I've got no allergies, I never lived in a sterile environment for most of my life.
      Suddenly I decide not to go out for a few years during the school years towards the end. Oh, sup autoimmune.
      Funny that, not

  • What a discovery... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    When I was a child, I was spending weekends and summers in the countryside, eating dirt, ants and flowers, and for some "misterious" reason I was the only kid in my classroom who didn't have any allergy! When I had a kid myself, I was also taking him to the countryside regularly and now he's 26 and also 100% allergy-free. Genetics? I doubt it: his mother, raised 100% in city, is allergic to almost any known allergen out there! Also, discussing the matter with several friends, we noticed the same: take your

    • by stewbee (1019450)
      I would say that when I was younger I spent plenty of time outside by hiking, playing soccer, swimming in lakes, playing in the woods, etc. I would say that I was allergy free up until recently. I am an engineer (implying I don't get to go outside much anymore) in my mid 30s now, and I noticed last year in the spring that I started to get really congested and sneezing in the spring. It was/is especially bad this season. While I haven't gone to the doctor to officially get diagnosed, I have a strong suspicio
  • I swear, sometimes it seems like she's got every allergy imaginable - food allergies, pollen allergies, animal dander, dust, you name it. So whatever biodiversity existed on her parents' rural farm, it doesn't seem to have done her good, at any rate.

    But, still - it would be interesting to see a more global analysis done to verify whether this holds up world-wide. For all we know, Finland might be special because the pollen granules immediately get coated with ice as soon as they leave the plant...

  • by spectrokid (660550) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @03:18AM (#39925035) Homepage
    My sister is a child nurse who visits young families at their homes to give advice and check on the babies. The "lower classes" live of junk food and use cheap stuff, with plenty of cheap perfumes, insecticides and random chemical crap in their household. Their children suffer from obesity, and even vitamin deficiencies. But NEVER allergies. The rich families with cleaning ladies twice a week, bio-detergents and balanced organic diets however...

    I used to work for a factory which made a protein you could get allergic to, so the staff was closely monitored. We had lab technicians who did DNA analyses on nanograms of the stuff, and factory operators who were swimming in tons of the crap. Guess where most allergies occured...
    • My sister is a child nurse who visits young families at their homes to give advice and check on the babies. The "lower classes" live of junk food and use cheap stuff, with plenty of cheap perfumes, insecticides and random chemical crap in their household. Their children suffer from obesity, and even vitamin deficiencies. But NEVER allergies. The rich families with cleaning ladies twice a week, bio-detergents and balanced organic diets however...

      I used to work for a factory which made a protein you could get allergic to, so the staff was closely monitored. We had lab technicians who did DNA analyses on nanograms of the stuff, and factory operators who were swimming in tons of the crap. Guess where most allergies occured...

      That's probably right, and I think our immune system evolved exposed to all that stuff we're suddenly removing from our environments, so there may be unintended consequences. The summary, however, is right in that there are far too many variables and the result of the study could be a result of the specific environment in Finland and more actual scientific study is needed.

      After all, if we're trading anecdotes, my mother was raised in a farm in Brazil right up to her 20s. Today she's allergic to just about

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Allergies are the body reacting to what it believes are intrusions. They are less likely to occur in people who have been exposed to actual parasites, because the body has a real intrusion to compare it to. Much like a dog that gets overexcited and barks and jumps up against the screen door every time the mailman comes by, the body thinks it is fending off an invader. This is why continued exposure to an allergen reduces the allergy, while occasional brief exposure increases it. This study has in fact f

  • for the reasons cited in other posts, plus the demographics of city dwellers would be different. Could be that urbanites would include poorer (weaker immune systems from lesser pre and post-natal health, poor diets, more crowding/exposure to communicable diseases) people, as well as "nerd" professionals who seem to have a higher incidence of physical limitations (poor eyesight, sedentary jobs, weak constitutions) and thus not really be an element of environmental exposures. Just demographics.
  • by Hamsterdan (815291) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @03:51AM (#39925171)

    That's how I cured my cat allergies. I couldn't even stand to see a picture of one. So I got one... It was hell for a couple of weeks. Now, 16 years later, no reaction whatsoever unless she scratches or bites me. Even other cats have almost no effect on me now. If you always sterilize, remove germs and ultra-clean everything, of course your body won't know what to fight.

    • by Maow (620678)

      I'm glad it worked for you, but it seems I'm in a different situation.

      Have done a fair bit of gardening over the past decade, no problems.

      Got a dog 5 or 6 years ago, seemed to have developed an allergy where my hands would bubble, split, crack, peel; it was insanely itchy, then painful. Used to joke that plunging them into boiling water would at least slough off the damned skin that was tormenting me and be only incrementally more painful.

      Once the dog passed away, I figured the allergies were a thing of th

      • by Muad'Dave (255648)

        Do you have things like poison [poison-ivy.org] ivy [wikipedia.org] where you live? I'm not a doctor, but your symptoms sound like allergic contact dermatitis and not a typical systemic allergic reaction. I'm very sensitive to poison ivy toxin, and get really bad blisters from it.

        • by Maow (620678)

          Do you have things like poison [poison-ivy.org] ivy [wikipedia.org] where you live? I'm not a doctor, but your symptoms sound like allergic contact dermatitis and not a typical systemic allergic reaction. I'm very sensitive to poison ivy toxin, and get really bad blisters from it.

          Thanks for the idea.

          I think it exists around Vancouver, but I was just weeding clover, moss, and some other stuff from my front yard in a residential neighbourhood in Vancouver, so don't think it was poison ivy.

          And it was diagnosed as contact dermatitis, however it's bad on my arms, neck, and forehead, which didn't contact anything.

          • by Muad'Dave (255648)

            That sounds identical to the blister distribution with poison ivy. The poison in poison ivy is an oil, so if you wipe the sweat from your brow, the back of your neck, etc that's where you'll get the blisters. I'd look around very carefully to see if you have some growing in your yard among the 'other stuff' you were weeding.

            Be careful - simple contact dermatitis can get worse with repeated exposure. You don't want a full-on case of anaphylaxis.

      • by leftover (210560)

        Your reaction sounds more like a contact irritant, poison ivy|oak|sumac or any of the other weeds and flowers containing irritants. Systemic allergies seem to show up first in mucous membranes, not necessarily at point of exposure.

        • by Maow (620678)

          Your reaction sounds more like a contact irritant, poison ivy|oak|sumac or any of the other weeds and flowers containing irritants. Systemic allergies seem to show up first in mucous membranes, not necessarily at point of exposure.

          Yeah, contact dermatitis was diagnosed by a doctor (and a vet), but this time it's worse on my neck, forehead, and arms, none of which contacted anything.

          And, as I was weeding mostly clover from my front yard inside Vancouver, I don't think it was poison ivy.

          Strangely, nose & eyes are mostly unaffected.

          Crap, every time I rub my forehead it looks like it's snowing in front of my face. Glasses are filthy. :(

      • Sounds to me like you were better off when you had the dog than you are now. Give up the gardening and adopt a dog.
    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      Did this with my Dog, took about 5 years though. At first if I went into my brother's room, where the dog slept, I would break out with horrible allergies after 5 minutes.
    • Nothing too surprising here. My oldest son had terrible allergies and was in danger of developing asthma. After a series of tests an allergist developed a series of shots for him that over several years brought his allergies under control through a planned program of acclimation, to the point where now he only has mild symptoms in the fall.

      http://www.respiratoryreviews.com/apr00/rr_apr00_immunotherapy.html [respiratoryreviews.com]

      The thing is it doesn't work for everyone, and the age you start is important. But for my son, it chang

    • I have cat allergies, but only to other people's cats. I got used to my own, but I still get a stuffy nose in houses with strange cats.

      reactions when scratched by a cat are generally a bacterial infection in your skin, which almost always is self-limiting.
      a rash if a cat licks you would be an example of a typical allergic reaction.

      (I've never been bit by a cat I own, maybe I'm just lucky or maybe you're doing something unusually annoying to the cat)

  • My anecdote (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @05:49AM (#39925633)
    For the record I'm still pretty young, only 25. But I grew up playing in the dirt, playing sports (especially football and baseball). I usually got dirty every day. If I got a cut, I rarely used a bandaid, even more rarely used something like neosporin. My house didn't use a lot of disinfectants, and my sister was the same way I was. I still don't really wash out or clean out cuts and they never get infected (and with where I work, the amount of dirt, oil, and other things I get on me is crazy), I rarely get sick, and I have no allergies. My sister rarely gets sick, and the only allergy she has is to pollen (which is a really common allergy here in Georgia). I firmly believe it was my lifestyle growing up that kept my immune system so strong.

    And yes, I am aware that the plural of anecdote is not data.

    • I am exactly as you describe yourself... (even age) except that i work in an office and i do have bad sinusitis especially from dust and cats and strong perfumes. I have had about 5 cats over many years and have not got fully accustomed to them. I cant even try to clean my own room because i start sneezing like crazy (its a good excuse not to though :P)
  • Or maybe their parents didn't have allergies so they moved out into a rural area. That's something I'd never do when I get married because I have allergies.
    I had allergies since before I was 1 year old so sorry, it's still extremely genetic.
  • Antecedal Evidence, myself. I grew up in a more rural area and did spend a lot of time outside as a kid with my two brothers. I was the one who played in the compost (grass/leaves) heap the most, eventually I got sick and broke out in hives. Now, I'm allergic to penicillin and the only one in the family with seasonal allergies.
  • I think a lot of this is "provable" with anecdotal evidence, but I think there is something about allowing people to get sick or exposed to germs...we live in a world where people are afraid of germs and sickness and want to drop an antibiotic at the first sign of illness, bacterial or not. I currently live in a country where antibiotics can be gotten at pharmacies without a prescription. When people start to cough or otherwise display symptoms of being sick the first recourse is an antibiotic; doctors even

  • Reverse Causation (Score:4, Informative)

    by dorpus (636554) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @08:55AM (#39927019)

    These observational studies did not establish the direction of causation (assuming it is causal). It could be that people who do not have allergies are attracted to (or remain) in farming, while those who are allergic take jobs in the city. I did a report on this in grad school.

  • Does this permit me to gloat to others that I don't use soap when washing my hands?

  • A very good read about this is Good Germs, Bad Germs [amazon.com]

  • A new study reveals that people still don't understand that correlation does not imply causation.
  • So far nearly all the posts have been backing the clean hypothesis. My story is different. I grew up in a semi-rural suburb where I played outside a lot and our family always had dogs and for a while some parakeets as well. I used to catch crayfish and frogs and turtles and snakes and keep them as pets for a while.

    I had severe allergies including asthma since I was maybe 6 or 7. It was around that time that I started taking allergy shots (immunotherapy). I took them for at least a few years I think with min

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