Friday, September 01, 2006

Your Bulldog Could Benefit from a Little Dirt!

: "Hygiene Hypothesis Vindicated

Improvements in sanitation over the last century have led to longer, healthier lives in the industrialized world � but like most things in life, cleanliness can be taken too far. A new study suggests that overly hygienic environments increase the tendency to develop allergic reactions and autoimmune disease.
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center compared the antibodies in the blood of laboratory rats and mice, which grow in a virtually germ-free environment, with those of wild rats and mice. All of the wild rodents had higher levels of IgG and IgE, classes of antibodies associated with immune and allergic diseases, but the wild rodents� antibodies did not tend to bind to the rat�s own cells, as did the antibodies produced by the hygienically raised rodents. Instead, the wild rodents� antibodies efficiently and effectively attacked invading organisms. The researchers published their results early on-line in the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology.
The �hygiene hypotheses� is perfectly sensible to me. I think it is extremely important for children and adults to spend significant amounts of time outdoors, where they can interact with all manner of environmental stresses and build strong, healthy immune systems. I also discourage the indiscriminate use of antibacterial soaps for the same reason. The immune system is like any other system � it needs exercise and challenges to grow and function effectively."
--this applies to bulldogs too, especially where allergies are concerned! VL


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