This post contains affiliate links.
Another interesting article in Scientific American worth sharing about a study where mice were fed dog dirt (pet dander, shedding…etc) and then deliberately infected with RSV.
The mice that had been exposed to dog dander had more diverse microbes in their guts and far lessened symptoms of RSV than those mice who were not exposed to any dog dander.
Now, they are assuming this relatively applies to humans too and is more about exposure to dirt, pet dander and other natural filth as a means to building up the microbes in the gut as well as strengthening the immune system properly which reduces the risk of diseases like Asthma which are thought to be prevalent due to “too clean” environments where the body doesn’t know how to properly react and doesn’t build the immune system optimally.
You can read more about this article here: http://goo.gl/mag/uS4Wz
It is true though that more studies are showing side effects of being in a too clean environment. Sure we all want to prevent germs and food poisoning so we want to wash our hands and use sanitizer frequently but you shouldn’t be afraid to let your kids play outside in the dirt, grass and mud and don’t think you “shouldn’t own a pet” because it isn’t clean or could make your kids sick, the opposite is proving to be true and owning a pet can actually help boost your baby’s chances of building a stronger immune system later.
What is most interesting is how breathing in the pet dander helps build more diverse microbes in the gut, there is more science learning just how important gut microbes are to the overall immune system and health of the body. With many auto immune disorders like Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Coalitis and such starting from immune disorders in the gut learning what microbes play a factor in helping train the body not to attack it’s own organs could be a key role to helping find a cure for such diseases.