24.8 C
Saturday, June 10, 2023
HomeHealthPuppy power! A study found that owning a pet dog reduces...

Puppy power! A study found that owning a pet dog reduces the risk of food allergy in children


In case you needed another reason to have a furry friend at home, scientists suggest that a pet can stop childhood food allergies.

Japanese researchers found that children who were exposed to a pet in their younger years were 15 percent less likely to develop a food allergy. The mere presence of the pet around the mother during pregnancy can bring down the potential for food allergies, as the benefits begin in the womb.

Those who grew up with dogs were less likely to develop allergies to eggs, milk, and nuts, while cats reduced the risk of children developing allergies to eggs, wheat, and soy.

With one in ten children suffering from food allergies – and increasing numbers of doctors – scientists are hopeful they have found a new way to reduce these problems.

The findings come directly after a groundbreaking British study found that introducing babies to peanuts between the ages of four and six months can reduce their likelihood of developing a nut allergy by 80 percent.

Researchers have found that having a dog in the home can reduce the likelihood of your child developing a food allergy by 15 percent

“Continuous exposure of dogs and cats from fetal development through infancy is estimated to reduce the risk of developing food allergies,” said lead author Dr Hisao Okabe, of Fukushima Medical University in Japan.

the findings, Published in PLOS One Magazinebased on an analysis of more than 65,000 infants from Japan who were tracked until they reached the age of three.

The prevalence of food allergy was assessed based on the clinician’s diagnosis reported by the parents.

“The hygiene hypothesis suggests that exposure to pets is effective in preventing allergic disease, and some studies have reported beneficial effects of exposure to dogs during fetal development or early childhood on food allergy,” said Dr Okabe.

This study aimed to explore the effect of exposure to different types of pets on food allergy risks.

The leading theory behind high sensitivity is the “hygiene hypothesis”.

Living conditions in many parts of the world may be very clean. Germs train the immune system to distinguish between harmless and harmful irritants.

The UK has one of the highest rates in the world.

While the prevalence of hay fever and eczema has leveled off or decreased, hospital admissions due to severe reactions to foods, for example, have increased significantly.

Exposure to pets may combat food allergies by boosting the microbiome. Previous studies have indicated that it increases the good bacteria, making children less vulnerable.

Dr Okabe said: “These results reduce concerns about allergic disease from breeding dogs and cats.

“Reducing the incidence of food allergies will significantly reduce infant mortality from anaphylaxis.”

About 22 percent of the participants were exposed to pets during the fetal period — most commonly dogs and cats.

There was a significant decrease in the incidence of food allergies among children exposed indoors, although there was no significant difference for children in households with dogs outdoors.

Perhaps surprisingly, children exposed to hamsters, less than one percent of the total group, had significantly higher incidences of nut allergies.

Data were self-reported – supplemented with medical record data collected during the first trimester of pregnancy, at birth and at the 1-month medical check-up.

The researchers said the findings could help direct future research into the mechanisms underlying children’s food allergies.

“The incidence of food allergies in children has increased over the past few decades, reaching more than 10 percent in developed countries,” said Dr. Okabe.

Food allergy is a condition that reduces the quality of life of patients and their families, imposes a significant burden on medical costs, and is a major cause of anaphylaxis, which can sometimes be fatal.

Therefore, preventing its occurrence is a major priority. The idea that early exposure to pets or older siblings provides an immunological benefit to human health stems from the hygiene hypothesis, first proposed in 1989 and subsequently supported by several epidemiological studies.

It is suggested that exposure to pets can be effective in preventing allergic diseases.

However, in some developed countries, including Japan, families concerned about allergies continue to avoid having pets.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

Latest stories