I’ve often said, in this space, that food allergies were very rare when I was a kid. In the generations that have followed, they seem to have become much more common – even an epidemic, according to some commenters. But a new study seems to shed old light on the issue once again…
When I was a kid, Mothers sometimes asked their doctors about apparent sensitivities – dietary and otherwise – in their kids. When a Mom said her kid seemed to have a sensitivity to Peanuts, the Dr. usually said, “Give him a little Peanut Butter every day and he’ll develop an immunity.”
Dr. Pumpkin is IN
Don’t you feel better already?
But, then, somewhere along about the 1980s, people became hyper-aware of allergies of all sorts and mothers became hyper-protective of their kids. Anyone who said protecting your kids from any contact whatsoever with stuff to which they had sensitivities might be a bad idea was pooh-poohed out of town. Well, now that once-vilified view seems to be regaining currency!
Curiously, the trend to galloping allergies in kids coincided with the beginning of the anti-bacterial cleaner era, which remains in high gear. Over-exposure to anti-bacterial agents has, recently, been blamed repeatedly in medical studies for our decreasing resistance to infection and viruses and a corresponding overall decline in the health of Western Nations. Of course, there’s also been a corresponding huge increase in health care costs and lost productivity. But that’s another story for another rant.
A host of recent medical studies and surveys shows that early exposure of infants to household pets such as cats and dogs may strengthen their immune systems against developing allergies of all kinds during later life.
A comprehensive medical journal survey article concludes… “It appears that exposure to something that is increased in homes with cats or dogs reduces the risk of allergic sensitization.”
And that’s not all!
This great website outlines the many ways Cats can be beneficial to your health – not the least of which is the direct therapeutic effects of their trademark purr…
So… Get your kids a cat or a dog! It’s a great idea for many reasons, but especially good from the allergy-fighting point of view. And, while you’re at it, give them a little Peanut Butter every day…
~ Maggie J.