At msn.com, I read a great article about how your pet helps to build your child’s immune system. According to research published in Microbiome, children born into homes with pets have higher levels of gut microbes that protect against allergies and obesity.
It is during the first few months of your baby’s life, that this indirect exposure to your house pets is most beneficial to their immune system. According to Anita Kozyrskyj, PhD, a pediatric epidemiologist at the University of Alberta, this period is a “critical window of time when gut immunity and microbes co-develop. Disruptions to this development process by introducing foreign bacteria can change immunity and have implications for long-term health.”
The researchers showed that babies from pet households had twice the amount of two specific bacteria, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, that have been linked with reduced risk for childhood allergies and obesity. Also, these bacteria were seen in babies without household pets after birth, but who were exposed to pets before birth.
This bacterial exchange pet-mom-baby, occurred regardless of the type of birth, regardless of whether the babies were breastfed, and regardless of whether antibiotics were used during birth.
So, here’s just one more reason to appreciate and love your family dog and cat even more, if that’s possible.
Here’s to your health, and the health of your kids and pets!
Kim Lowrey, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist
Colon Hydrotherapy Center, Fayetteville, AR