A study released by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has demonstrated, that children living on farms producing milk, have a one-tenth risk of developing allergies than children who don’t live on farms.
The children in this study were monitored until the age of three to examine maturation of the immune system in relation to allergic disease. All of the children resided in rural areas of Västra Götaland Region, half of them on farms that produced milk.
In general children with a demonstrated allergic disease at the age of 18-36 months had a higher percentage of immature B-cells in their blood circulation at birth and during the first month of life.
“Our study also demonstrated for the first time that delayed maturation of the immune system, specifically B-cells, is a risk factor for development of allergies,” said Anna-Carin Lundell, one of the researchers.
The study researchers highlighted the need for additional studies: “We need to identify the specific factors on dairy farms that strengthen protection against allergies and appear to promote maturation of the immune system as early as the fetal stage,” said Lundell.
A.-C. Lundell, S. Johansen, I. Adlerberth, A. E. Wold, B. Hesselmar, A. Rudin. High Proportion of CD5 B Cells in Infants Predicts Development of Allergic Disease. The Journal of Immunology, 2014; 193 (2): 510 DOI: 10.4049/%u200Bjimmunol.1302990