Dirty Dog | Allergies Rise with Cleanliness


DirtydogSo I’m having a drink the other night with this guy who works at the government’s disease control centre – he specialises in TB and bio-terrorism threats – and he says "You want to have healthy kids? The best thing you can do is buy them a dog."

Apparently they bring such a lot of dirt into the house they do a brilliant job of increasing immunity.

Once again, paradoxically, it’s sterile, pure lives end up killing you.

[Update: The Times has led this morning with a piece on the meteoric rise of allergies in the UK, citing cleanliness and animal exclusion as the problem:

"When animals, as happens in parts of Eastern Europe, continue to live in close
proximity to humans so does the incidence of the common forms of allergy
remain low. As the boundaries of the spick and span, spotless lifestyle
spreads across Europe, so does the allergy become more frequent. It is
likely that the adverse effects of an over hygienic lifestyle exert their
influence on children when they are still at the toddler stage of childhood
or younger.

Interestingly, it was better-off families who suffered most. Why? Perhaps because they have cleaners.

Human Reaction to Spotless Lifestyles ]




2 responses to “Dirty Dog | Allergies Rise with Cleanliness”

  1. In the May 2006 edition of National Geographic there is a very interesting article about allergies. Apparently, severe allergies (like peanut allergies) are on the rise and scientists are baffled at the cause. Some theories suggest diet, some the lack of breast feeding, others, noting that the rise in allergy sufferers is primarily in the urban environment, suggest air quality or other chemicals used in the city.
    But it has been noticed and studied that children raised on a farm tend to be less prone to allergies. “The study’s director, Erika von Mutius, at Children’s Hospital at the University of Munich, thinks early exposure to beneficial microbes in dirt and animal wast may help the immune system distinguish later in life between real threats and bogus ones.”
    “There was a famous study,” says National Jewish Medical and Research Center’s Nelson, “where one of the protective factors for asthmas was having a pig in the house.”
    A dog is so mundane. I recommend buying your family a pet pig and letting them play in its shit.

  2. henry?