Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Protective Effects of Diverse Microbial Exposure

At first glance, one might assume that farm children have a higher risk of allergies, asthma, and other atopic diseases. They are out in the country with all those exposures to allergens, right?

Actually, a 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests otherwise. Children growing up on a farm in central Europe were found to have a decreased incidence of asthma and atopy compared to their urban counterparts! The study examined the dust inside the homes of these children and found that farm children have a significantly greater exposure to microbial diversity. This study suggests that the greater diversity of bacteria and fungi that we are exposed to, the lower the rate of asthma and atopy.
(Reference: http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1007302)

This begs the question--do we have a higher incidence of allergic conditions because we limit our bacterial and fungal diversity?  In what ways do we limit this diversity on a daily basis?

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