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Exposure to beneficial microorganisms is unaffected by targeted hygiene and cleaning




According to a new study by researchers at UCL and the London School of Economics and Tropical Medicine, the theory that modern society is too clean and leads to defects in the child’s immune system should be wiped out under the carpet.

In medicine, the “hygiene hypothesis” states that early childhood exposure to certain microorganisms protects against allergic diseases by contributing to the development of the immune system.

However, there is widespread view that western societies in the 21st century are too hygienic. This means that infants and children are less exposed to bacteria from an early age and may be less resistant to allergies.

In this paper, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers point out four important reasons, disprove this theory and conclude that it is “not too clean for its own benefit.” ..

Childhood microbial exposure is essential for “education” of the immune and metabolic systems.. “

Graham Luke, Principal Investigator, and Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology, University College London

“Our gut, skin and respiratory tract organisms also play an important role in maintaining good health in old age, so throughout their lives these are primarily derived from mothers, other families and the natural environment. You need to be exposed to beneficial microorganisms.

“But for more than 20 years, there was a public story that hand and home hygiene practices, which are essential to stop exposure to disease-causing pathogens, also prevent exposure to beneficial organisms. ..

“This treatise coordinates the apparent conflict between the need for cleansing and hygiene to protect us from pathogens and the need for microbial input to live in the gut and set up the immune and metabolic systems. I started to do that. “

In a review of the evidence, researchers point out four factors.

  • First, the microorganisms found in modern homes are, to a large extent, not necessary for immunity.
  • Second, vaccines do more to strengthen the immune system in addition to protecting us from targeted infections, so we need to risk death by being exposed to pathogens. I found that there wasn’t.
  • Third, we now have concrete evidence that microorganisms in the natural green environment are of particular importance to our health. Home cleaning and hygiene have nothing to do with our exposure to the natural environment.
  • Finally, recent studies have found that if epidemiologists find a link between cleaning the house and health problems such as allergies, this is often due to the exposure of the lungs to cleaning products, rather than the removal of organisms. Indicates that it will be triggered. Promotes the development of allergic reactions.

Professor Luke added: “House cleaning is good and personal cleanliness is good, but as detailed in the treatise, targeting the hands and surfaces most often involved in the transmission of the infection to prevent the spread of the infection. By targeting our cleaning methods, we also limit children’s direct exposure to cleaning agents.

“Exposure to our mother, family, natural environment, and vaccines can provide all the microbial inputs we need. These exposures are intelligently targeted hygiene or cleaning. Is consistent with. “


Journal reference:

Luke, GAW, et al.. (2021) Microbial exposure to establish immunomodulation is compatible with targeted hygiene. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology..





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