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Cleanliness May Not Be Next to Godliness When it Comes to Allergies, Asthma

Vital Information:

  • In the U.S., 40-50 million people suffer from allergies, and more than 17 million have asthma, a disease that claims more than 5,000 lives each year.
  • One hypothesis suggests that modern hygiene, vaccines, and sanitation decrease children's exposure to certain microbes, preventing their immune systems from building up natural defenses.
  • A new study adds further evidence to this hypothesis, showing that people who do not have antibodies to bacteria, viruses, and parasites transmitted via food, saliva, or feces are more likely to have allergies or asthma.

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