“The Hygiene Hypothesis states that when children lack early exposure to infectious agents, parasites, and symbiotic microorganisms like normal gut flora such as would naturally occur in a rural or farm environment, they are much more likely to suffer from autoimmune disorders such as allergies or asthma.
This hypothesis helps to explain why farm kids tend to be so much healthier and far less prone to immune disorders than children raised in an urban setting.
Now, an international team of researchers has taken the Hygiene Hypothesis a step further by looking at the role raw milk plays in protecting against hypersensitization to environmental allergens.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology is reporting that farm children who drink raw milk exhibit a far superior immune response than either farm children who don’t consume raw milk or children living in an urban setting.
The team of researchers led by Dr. Mark Holbreich MD, an allergy and asthma specialist, compared skin prick tests of mostly raw milk drinking Amish children aged 6-12 years old living in Indiana to non raw milk drinking Swiss children living in either a farm or urban setting. Amish children in Indiana were chosen due to their genetic similarity to modern day Swiss children.
The results of the skin prick tests to assess allergic sensitization are summarized as follows:
- Over 44% of the urban living Swiss children exhibited an allergic reaction.
- Approximately 25% of the non raw milk drinking Swiss farm children had an allergic reaction.
- Only 7% of the primarily raw milk drinking Amish farm children had an allergic reaction.
This study comes on the heels of the 2011 Gabriella study which found that:…”