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New Research Adds Support to the Claim ‘Dirty is Good’ for Allergies

New research published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has shown that babies who are exposed to a wide array of bacteria and allergens in the first year of life are less likely to develop allergies down the road, NPR’s Shots blog reports. The findings were very specific, showing that “inner-city children who were exposed to cockroach, mouse and cat allergens in the first year of life had less wheezing at age 3. And children exposed to a wider variety of bacteria, especially those in the Bacteriodes and Firmicutes groups, were less likely to develop allergies or asthma.” Public works efforts have tried to clean upper inner cities in order to protect the health of its occupants, but these findings suggest, “as long as you’ve got just the right allergens and bacteria, dirty is good.”

Read it in NPR’s Shots blog.

Read the study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

View the citation on PubMed.