You may want to give your kids a taste of farm life as new study has suggested that doing so can protect them against asthma and allergies.
Researchers at VIB (a leading life sciences institute in Flanders, Belgium) and Ghent University have successfully established a causal relationship between exposure to so-called farm dust and protection against asthma and allergies. This breakthrough discovery is a major step forward towards the development of an asthma vaccine.
It is commonly known that drinking raw cow's milk can provide protection against allergies. A 14-member research team has now established a solid scientific basis for this claim.
Researcher Bart Lambrecht (VIB/Ghent University/Ghent University Hospital) said that they revealed an actual link between farm dust and protection against asthma and allergies by exposing mice to farm dust extract from Germany and Switzerland.
"These tests revealed that the mice were fully protected against house dust mite allergy, the most common cause for allergies in humans," he added.
In addition to the causal relationship, the scientists discovered the mechanism behind this: farm dust makes the mucous membrane inside the respiratory tracts react less severely to allergens such as house dust mite.
These findings were then tested in patients. The results showed that people suffering from allergies and asthma have a deficiency in the protective protein A20. It explains why they react to allergens so severely. The results of the research were published in the leading journal Science.