Give microbes to mum for less-allergic young

Several new reports highlighting the importance of ‘friendly’ microbes have been in the news recently (childhood exposure may prevent diseases in adulthood; bacteria are essential for skin health; and dirt keeps piglets healthy too).

Perhaps most significant, however, is new research from Germany showing that it’s literally never too early to start the young on beneficial microbes, and that they may even benefit from their mothers’ exposure during pregnancy.

It was already known that children raised on farms teeming with microbes develop fewer allergies than those raised in cities or non-farming rural areas. But children of farming mothers are less susceptible to allergies regardless of their own exposure, and the new German research has found that exposure to environmental bacteria triggers a mild inflammatory response in pregnant mice that renders their offspring more resistant to allergies.

NB: This post is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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