Children and pregnant women may benefit from spending time on dairy farms
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Youngsters who live on dairy farms are less susceptible to develop allergies. According to a study published in The Journal of Immunology, conducted by researchers at The University of Gothenburg in Sweden, children are not the only ones who can benefit from being around a dairy farm, but pregnant women too.
Scientists found that children who grow up on dairy farms run a much lower risk of having allergies compared to other children. Farm kids are about one-tenth at risk of developing allergies. And for pregnant women, spending time on dairy farms can help promote maturation of the fetal and neonatal immune system.
The study notes that children that are less exposed to microorganisms are found to have fewer infections.
One of the researchers, Anna-Carin Lundell, said “our study also demonstrated for the first time that delayed maturation of the immune system, specifically B-cells, is a risk factor for development of allergies.”
More studies are needed to verify the link between delayed B-cell maturation and the period of risk that follow the development of allergies.
“We need to identify the specific factors on dairy farms that strengthen protection against allergies and appear to promote maturation of the immune system as early as the fetal stage,” said Lundell.
The study was conducted on rural children that lived in the areas of Västra Götaland Region, and half of the participants in the study were from dairy farms.