Microbes Help Farm Kids Have Lower Asthma Rates

New research reveals that farm kids have lower asthma rates than city kids because they are exposed to a wide range of microbes. School-aged children in the studies who lived on farms were about 30 percent to 50 percent less likely to have asthma than non-farm children who lived nearby.

Farm kids were also exposed to more bacteria and fungi than the other children, according to the study appearing in the Feb. 24 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The research shows that exposure to bacteria and fungi from environmental sources like dirt and animal hair early in life protects against asthma and allergies by helping the immune system develop normally.


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