Growing up with a young dog may be the key to protecting against Crohn’s disease

Letting the family dog ​​poop all over your child’s face may not seem healthy, but research suggests that it may provide an extra layer of protection against your child’s Crohn’s disease.

An unpublished study presented at Gastroenterology Week in San Diego in May added to the “hygiene hypothesis” — the idea that exposure to germs when a child was a child helps build a stronger immune system. Study researchers found that children who grew up with a dog or in large families were less likely to develop Crohn’s disease.

To conduct the study, which began in 2008 and is still ongoing, the researchers used questionnaires to collect information from more than 4,200 parents, siblings, or children with Crohn’s disease. This high-risk group participated in the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Genetic, Environmental and Microbial Project, or GEM project. After 5.6 years, 86 study participants developed Crohn’s disease. The team then looked at environmental factors – family size, whether participants grew up on a farm, drank well or municipal water, drank raw or pasteurized milk, number of bathrooms in the house, and whether they lived with domestic pets (dogs and pets ). cat).

“We really want to get a clearer picture of the environmental factors that either protect against or contribute to Crohn’s disease,” says Williams Turpin, senior author of the study and a research associate at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto. “This way we hope to develop interventions to reduce risk in the population.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.