Nowadays, children are sitting inside their air-conditioned homes… eyes glued to their phones… their pale skin soaked in hand sanitisers – and nearly every inch of them is under some kind of protective covering.
Their immune systems haven’t had anything to fight – probably ever – so they don’t know WHAT to do if they ever do encounter something that might cause an infection (or even just a little irritation).
There’s a theory that this lack of exposure… this over protection of today’s children… is what’s causing asthma and allergy rates in today’s children to skyrocket.
And that seems more and more likely to be true – because a new study yet again confirms that children who spend much of their days outside working have a drastically reduced risk of developing asthma and allergies.
Researchers have been telling us this for a while, but this latest study tested the concept almost to the extreme – right into the technology-renouncing Amish country.
You see, because the notoriously luddite lifestyle of the Amish, the dust in their farmhouses is actually dirtier than other homes and farms. They’re not using dishwashers and other modern sterilizing “advances,” so they’re exposing children at an earlier age to things that might make them cough and sneeze – while their immune systems are still developing and can learn how to fight them.
And that’s why research on both humans and mice recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that growing up on an Amish farm lessens your chance of developing asthma or allergies by up to 600 per cent.
Farming communities typically have less asthma than the rest of the world, but the effect was so pronounced on Amish farms because of their “traditional” farming techniques. Children actually head out and milk the cows by hand. And they’re probably not wearing gloves.
And it’s not just asthma, but allergies, too.
Seasonal allergies like hay fever affect nearly 30 per cent of the population now. Two hundred years ago – when farm life was the norm – it didn’t exist AT ALL.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to give up all ties to modern society for an ascetic existence. No one wants you to become Amish – and it’s probably too late to expose you to all that filthy dust, anyway.
What is important is to understand that our immune systems – and those of our grandchildren – probably aren’t as strong as they could be.
But living in a sanitary bubble won’t do you a bit of good. Instead, you can boost your immune system by taking a daily probiotic that replenishes the “good” bacteria in your gut and bulks up your defense against “bad” bacteria.
It won’t “cure” asthma if you’re already suffering from it, but a multi-vitamin with selenium, zinc and vitamin E can also boost your immunity, as can the tried-and-true vitamin C.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Amish Farmers May Reap Immune System Benefit, medpagetoday.com/AllergyImmunology/Asthma/59504?