Saturday, April 29, 2017
A new study by University of Alberta has shown that early exposure to pets can reduce allergy and obesity by altering gut bacteria in immune-boosting ways. This new study has showed that babies from families with pets of which 70% were dogs showed higher levels of two types of microbes associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity. The theory is that exposure to dirt and bacteria early in life from the dog's fur or from its paws can create early immunity.The study shed more light by understanding the connection and identifying that exposure to pets in the womb or up to three months after birth increases the abundance of two bacteria, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, which have been linked with reduced childhood allergies and obesity, respectively. The numbers of the two bacteria were increased twofold when there was a pet in the house, meaning that the pet exposure was shown to affect the gut microbiome indirectly -from dog to mother to unborn baby -- during pregnancy as well as during the first three months of the baby's life. In other words, even if the dog had been given away for adoption just before the woman gave birth, the healthy microbiome exchange could still take place.