VIDEO: How dogs could protect babies from asthma, allergies

AP photo

AP photo

It's long been known dogs are man's... and woman's best friends, but what about babies? A new study shows keeping pups around you're little ones can actually be good for their future health.

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"A new study lead by a researcher at UC San Francisco says having dogs in the house may inoculate the GI tract of babies and lead to a more mature immune system. That could cut down on childhood allergies and asthma." (Via KUTV)

"This theory is the first of its kind and it goes against traditional thinking that dogs and pet hair are a trigger for asthma." (Via KWGN)

The research was actually done on mice — scientists exposed them to dust from homes where dogs live. But researchers say the results are also very likely to be applied to human infants.

One researcher said, "​The results of our study indicate that this is likely to be one mechanism through which the environment influences immune responses in early life... It is something we are currently examining using human samples in a large multi-institutional collaborative study." (Via HealthDay)

And although the research is still a bit of a work in progress, WCBD notes,

"They encourage parents not to shy away from allowing the family pet to lick the child. That's not to say that basic hygiene shouldn't be followed."

Seems this one's got the right idea (NAT) All rolled into one — a dose of scientific knowledge and some extra special cuteness. Aww! (Via YouTube / MsJadensDad)

But researchers do note the findings shouldn't prompt new parents to run out and go get a dog. The results merely found an associating, not necessarily a cause and effect relationship.

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Comments » 1

MIOCENE (Inactive) writes:

Using dogs to stimulate a child’s immune system is an attempt to solve a complex problem with a simple solution.

If you want your child to develop a complex immune system in the developed world; do the following:
Let the child teethe on the filthy handle of the shopping cart, let them crawl around on the floor, get their hands filthy from playing in the dirt; and then let them put their fingers in the mouth.

The child’s immune system will respond by building armies of disease fighting antibodies, many of which will last a lifetime.

Yes the child may become sick; but will be much stronger for it later on.

You are not doing your child a service by raising him in a sterile world; because sooner or later; and unknown to himself; he will leave that protective environment; and the microscopic world will still be there; -waiting for him.

In 1917 when the Spanish Flu hit the American Army, the first ones to die were the big strapping healthy- looking farm boys from the Mid West and the Bible Belt. These were the kids who grew up in an environment isolated from human disease microbes; compared to the immigrants who had wallowed in the filthy streets and alleys of New York City.


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