Author Topic: Excess hygiene may reduce immune systems?  (Read 2138 times)


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Excess hygiene may reduce immune systems?
« on: March 02, 2013, 01:18:58 AM »
New research suggests that childhood exposure to germs may help strengthen the immune system and protect children from developing allergies
and asthma in later life.
Scientists compared the immune systems of one group had been exposed to a normal bacteria environment to another group of “germ-free mice,”
and found that the mice living in normal environments had a significantly healthier immune systems than mice living in ultra clean environments.
Researchers found that the germ-free mice had exaggerated inflammation of the lungs and colon, resembling asthma and ulcerative colitis in
people, which was caused by the hyperactivity of an invariant natural killer T cell.
The findings also show that a lack of exposure to microbes in early life cannot be compensated for in adult mice.
However, scientists from the latest research found the fragile immune systems of germ-free mice could still be restored to normal if they were
introduced to microbes in the first few weeks after they are born.
"It's really a huge leap to go from mice to humans, but they are both mammals and there are definitely parallels in their immune systems.."
The results were published on Friday in the journal Science.