Danish Research: Dirt = No Allergy

Exposure to bacteria at infancy shields one from catching allergic diseases.

Bhadra Kamalasanan
Written by: Bhadra KamalasananUpdated at: Jan 03, 2012 17:55 IST
Danish Research: Dirt = No Allergy

A Danish research has revealed that more the bacteria that a child is exposed to the more he or she is safe from catching allergic diseases later in life. The research was conducted by the University of Copenhagen and covered large part of its study in Denmark because of the fact that about 25% of the population of Denmark is oversensitive to diseases such as allergies.


The more the variety the better the chances of healthy sustenance

The study meticulously examined over 400 children by observing the direct link the number of bacteria in their rectum had with the risk of development of allergic diseases later in life. It was observed that a reduced diversity of intestinal microbiota at the time of infancy increased one’s chances of developing allergic diseases by the time the child was ready for school, but if the diversity was considerable, the risk was also considerably less.

The scientists reported that there is a considerable difference in the way a baby is born. For instance, if the baby is born vaginally, it is exposed to a greater number of bacteria from the mother’s rectum compared with a baby that is born by caesarean section.


Exposure to no allergy-causing bacteria

During the first six months of life inside the womb, the fetus is protected by the mother’s immune defenses. Therefore, the bacteria flora in the infants is probably affected by antibiotics that the mother might have taken or artificial substances that the mother might have been exposed to during pregnancy. The scientists found no trace of allergy causing bacteria. The doctors suggest that the important factor is to encounter large number of different bacteria when the immune system of the baby is developing as such an exposure promises a better shield against allergic diseases. Studies are being carried out to find out if the same theory applies to other modern diseases the results of which the scientists are affirmative about.