Skip to comments.Infants Wheeze Less In Homes With Multiple Dogs
Posted on 12/04/2006 5:55:38 PM PST by blam
Infants Wheeze Less In Homes With Multiple Dogs
Living in a home with multiple dogs may help reduce an infants risk for developing wheezing in the first year of life, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC).
Having multiple dogs in the home early in life may help prevent future allergy development in certain kids. (Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati)
Cincinnati researchers, led by David Bernstein, MD, have found that infants living in homes with high levels of endotoxins (bacterial contaminants) and multiple dogs were more than two times less likely to wheeze than other infants.
They found that wheezing was not associated independently with either dog or cat ownership or high levels of indoor endotoxins; however, high endotoxin exposures in homes that also had multiple dogs resulted in less wheezing.
Our research presents evidence that pet ownership offers a protective effect against development of lower respiratory symptoms in young children, adds Bernstein.
The UC-led teams findings conflict with earlier studies suggesting exposure to high endotoxin levels or pet ownership can protect against an increased risk for future allergic diseases, the UC team reports in the December edition of theJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Exposure to high endotoxin levels in the home may not be an important determinant of aeroallergen sensitization during infancy, explains Bernstein, professor of immunology and senior author for the study. We do not yet understand how and why exposure to high levels of bacterial endotoxin and multiple dogs in the home exert a protective effect in these high-risk infants from wheezing early in life.
Endotoxins are natural compounds secreted from pathogens (disease-causing agents) like bacteria that are commonly found in the intestines and feces. Scientists believe that endotoxins can stimulate our immune systems in many different ways.
Our bodies are programmed to produce allergic responses early in life, Bernstein explains, but there are environmental factors like bacterial endotoxins that may modify the immune system and block development of allergies early in life.
The UC-led team analyzed the effects of pet ownership (cats and dogs) and endotoxin exposure in 520 infants enrolled in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) who were identified as being at greater risk for developing allergies because at least one parent had known allergies.
The CCAAPS, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is a five-year study examining the effects of environmental particulates on childhood respiratory health and allergy development.
Researchers collected dust samples from the infants homes to measure endotoxin levels. They also determined the number of siblings and gathered information about the home, including the presence of mold and second-hand smoke. Environmental and food allergy development was monitored through annual skin prick tests.
Previous studies have addressed the role of pet ownership in childhood allergy development; however, findings have been inconsistent, according to Bernstein. Until now, it was unclear whether animal ownership, endotoxin exposure or a combination of the two resulted in wheezing. Bernstein says further research is needed to determine if these early protective effects have long-term benefits.
Collaborators in this study include Manuel Villareal, MD, of Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center and UC colleagues Paloma Campo, MD, Hapinder Kalra, MD, Linda Levin, PhD, Tiina Reponen, PhD, Rolanda Olds, Zana Lummus, PhD, Seung-Hyun Cho, PhD, Gurjit Hershey, MD, PhD, James Lockey, MD, Sherry Stanforth and Grace LeMasters, PhD, principal investigator of the CCAAPS.
I wonder whose idea this study was.
Dogs are good for you in more ways than one.
Dog licks butt. Dog licks kid's face. Good for both!
Well, we have multiple dogs, often six in the house. And we have multiple kids & grandkids. It's gratifying to think we are benefitting their good health as well as everyone's entertainment.
Then kids in my home would be extra allergy free.
Any kids in my house will be thoroughly protected.
Yes thats what I was thinking too. Along with kid eating/drinking from dogs dish. If you have dogs it will happen at least once with each child guarenteed.
I guess the upshot is kids that aren't raised in clinically sterile environments do better in the real world ?
My son would drink from the dogs' dish, eat their (dry) IAMS food, and crawl in and out of the doggie door. For a while there I wasn't sure exactly which species he was.
Actually, pugs cannot lick their own butts. Therefor we have a pug. :o)
Those kids have never been around my pug when she farts. I wheeze and gag.
Guess what? I think you're 100% right! I think we Americans are way too obsessed with "germ-free" everything and "bacteria-killing" products. How the heck are we supposed to develop healthy immune systems?
I betcha that if I dare go visit Guatemala (where I came from) I will get a severe case of the runs if I dare drink the water or eat something right there on the street... neither of those was an issue nine years ago, when I lived there!
On the other hand... I would not change living in this God-blessed country for anything in the world!
Anyone want to borrow one of my four canines? Guilt free pet ownership is a good thing. ;) Never tried the idea on our kids...we didn't have any.
By the way.. my kids grew up with dogs around them since they were born (I had an Irish Setter who would "hide" in my oldest's son crib -kid in crib, too- whenever there was a blackout or loud noise). Those kids never get sick... a cold here and there and that's it. They are now all healthy adults.
Do liberals approve of dogs?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.