The number of people who suffer from it differs from one region to another. A team of Belgian researchers have recently discovered that children who grow up on a farm are less inclined to have asthma and other types of allergies. Surprisingly, the key to being allergy free lies in the dust they are exposed to.
“At this point, we have revealed an actual link between farm dust and protection against asthma and allergies. We did this by exposing mice to farm dust extract from Germany and Switzerland. These tests revealed that the mice were fully protected against house dust mite allergy, the most common cause for allergies in humans,” said Bart Lambrecht, who is a professor of pulmonary medicine at Ghent University.
It was also revealed that a protein called A20 causes the mucous membrane that is located in the respiratory tracts to react more mildly to allergens like house dust mite that would otherwise be more harmful. Basically, when someone interacts with farm dust, his or her body produces this protective A20 protein.
However, when the protein was inactivated, the asthmatic or allergic reaction could not be reduced in mice.
The experts also looked at the data of about 2,000 people who live or grew up on farms. The results showed that most of them did not have asthma or allergic reactions. Those who did have allergies or asthma had a deficiency of A20 protein, according to Bart Lambrecht.
The study, whose results were recently published in the journal Science, is very important for dealing with the treatment of allergies and asthma, which seem to be affecting a growing number of people.
This is why researchers are hoping to find the active substance that farm dust contains, which is responsible for protecting the person against these conditions, so that they can develop a type of medicine to prevent them.
This is easier said than done, because it might take a long time to carry out the necessary research to allow experts to develop such drugs.
Nevertheless the study proves there are even more benefits to living on a farm than it was previously thought. Let us not forget that about 350,000 people die from asthma every year. Thus, before you decide to live in the urban jungle and leave your country house, think about the healthy lifestyle you are leaving behind.
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