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Medicine Science

Want To Fight Allergies? Get a Dirty Dog 147

sciencehabit writes "A dog in the house is more than just good company. There's increasing evidence that exposure to dogs and livestock early in life can lessen the chances of infants later developing allergies and asthma. Now, researchers have traced this beneficial health effect to a microbe living in the gut. Their study, in mice, suggests that supplementing an infant's diet with the right mix of bacteria might help prevent allergies — even without a pet pooch."
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Want To Fight Allergies? Get a Dirty Dog

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  • I KNEW IT! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @02:18AM (#45723185) Homepage Journal

    I've had allergies all my life, dust and pollen. My mother HATED animals and we never had any pets.

    Flash forward 20 years -- I get a dog, a little Chihuahua that lives inside my house. I'm sure his hair and dander is all over the place and I breathe it in every day. And.... my allergies are MUCH better now! I can actually breathe with both nostrils, which I never could do most of my life due to sinuses being swollen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @02:28AM (#45723239)

    In addition, a study conducted by La Ragione et al. (2004) addressed the beneficial use of L. johnsonii in the poultry industry. This study found that the administration of L. johnsonii in chickens helped control diseases caused by Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens. Thus, L. johnsonii has the potential to be directly used in the poultry industry as an alternative to antimicrobials

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @03:29AM (#45723515)

    You'd actually be surprised to hear that mother's body prepares itself for giving birth by allocating a number of fecal bacteria to the vagina, which baby licks up on its way down the birth canal.

    So yes, nature intends for babies to "eat shit". Because it's needed to establish appropriate gut flora. To the point where nowadays doctors take vaginal swabs and put them in baby's mouth if baby is born of cesarean section and cannot get these naturally.

  • by Bengie ( 1121981 ) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @09:03AM (#45724865)
    The vagina does actually change to some degree and the bacterial flora changes. Turns out this change increases "good" bacteria for the infant and infants tend to ingest some of the bacteria on the way out. Other research has shown that infants actually have strong immune systems, they're just suppressed via a gene expression while they're young. Seems this gives time for bacteria to settle and make a strong biome, while giving the body time to learn to play nice with these bacteria.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.