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Posted Fri Apr 16 2010: from University of Montreal, via EurekAlert:
Excessive cleanliness to blame for allergy, autoimmune rise
Allergies have become a widespread in developed countries: hay fever, eczema, hives and asthma are all increasingly prevalent. The reason? Excessive cleanliness is to blame according to Dr. Guy Delespesse, a professor at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine.... "There is an inverse relationship between the level of hygiene and the incidence of allergies and autoimmune diseases," says Dr. Delespesse. "The more sterile the environment a child lives in, the higher the risk he or she will develop allergies or an immune problem in their lifetime."... Why does this happen? "The bacteria in our digestive system are essential to digestion and also serve to educate our immune system. They teach it how to react to strange substances. This remains a key in the development of a child's immune system." Although hygiene does reduce our exposure to harmful bacteria it also limits our exposure to beneficial microorganisms. As a result, the bacterial flora of our digestive system isn't as rich and diversified as it used to be.
[Read more stories about: antibiotic resistance, health impacts, unintended consequences]

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Gail says: "Nah. I bet it's mostly from pollution from chemicals, which is in direct proportion to developed societies."

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'Doc Michael says:
Is biodiversity loss inside mirroring biodiversity loss outside?
Hmm... and does that make us an autoimmune disease?

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