House dust protects against chronic diseases: Latest study confirms hygiene hypothesis

Hygiene Hypothesis Confirms: House Dust Prevents Certain Diseases
It has been known for years that children who grow up on farms and are in contact with stall dust are less likely to suffer from allergies. However, early contact with house dust also causes people less often to suffer from atopic diseases such as asthma or atopic dermatitis. This has now been confirmed again in a study.

House dust protects against allergies
The fact that rural life protects many children from asthma has been proven in various scientific studies. This has, according to health experts, to do with the fact that they come in contact with a lot of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. But house dust also has a similar function;It protects city children from allergies. It also reduces the risk of atopic dermatitis and asthma. This has now been confirmed again in a study.

Children who grow up in the countryside are usually better protected from allergies and other diseases by the contact with germs. But also components in house dust fulfill this protective function.(Image: Children who grow up in the countryside are usually better protected from allergies and other diseases by the contact with germs. But also components in house dust fulfill this protective function.(Photo:

Do not exaggerate hygiene
Although cleanliness can help maintain health, hysterical hygiene should be avoided as germs protect against allergies. As reported by the Association of Paediatricians( BVKJ) on its website "", American scientists have shown that certain components of house dust can affect the risk of atopic dermatitis and other allergic diseases.

Comparison of Two Religious Groups
The researchers around Michelle M. Stein of the University of Chicago compared in the investigation persons of two religious groupings. On the one hand humans of an Amish community from Indiana, on the other hand Hutterer from South Dakota. According to the figures, these two rural communities are remarkably similar both genetically and ecologically, with the difference that the Amish continue "traditional agriculture" in the family business, while the Hutterian farms are highly industrialized.

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  • According to the BVKJ, previous studies have found that the respective rates of atopic dermatitis, hay fever and asthma are much higher among Hutterites thanwith the Amish people.

    Influence of House Dust on Atopic Disease
    The current study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at how often asthma and the clinical and immunological characteristics of atopic disease in children were detectable in both groups, and evaluated the extent to whichHouse dust increases the risk of atopic disease( asthma, hay fever, atopic dermatitis).

    It turned out that none of the 30 Amish children had asthma. However, six of the 30 Hutterer children were affected. Furthermore, the scientists found that the Amish children had lower blood levels of allergen-specific immunoglobulin( Ig) E and eosinophils despite being exposed to similar levels of allergens. The dust samples showed differences in the bacterial profiles.

    Certain constituent in house dust crucial
    According to the BVKJ, it was found that any ingredient in Amish house dust could reduce the risk of atopic diseases or prevent allergic sensitization.

    If the protective component could be detected in house dust, then this could - so the authors hope - be a way to prevent eczema, hay fever, asthma and other allergic diseases in advance.(ad)

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