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Want To Fight Allergies? Get a Dirty Dog

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the or-live-in-one-of-those-awesome-bubbles dept.

Medicine 147

sciencehabit writes "A dog in the house is more than just good company. There's increasing evidence that exposure to dogs and livestock early in life can lessen the chances of infants later developing allergies and asthma. Now, researchers have traced this beneficial health effect to a microbe living in the gut. Their study, in mice, suggests that supplementing an infant's diet with the right mix of bacteria might help prevent allergies — even without a pet pooch."

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I KNEW IT! (4, Informative)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 7 months ago | (#45723185)

I've had allergies all my life, dust and pollen. My mother HATED animals and we never had any pets.

Flash forward 20 years -- I get a dog, a little Chihuahua that lives inside my house. I'm sure his hair and dander is all over the place and I breathe it in every day. And.... my allergies are MUCH better now! I can actually breathe with both nostrils, which I never could do most of my life due to sinuses being swollen.

Re:I KNEW IT! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723235)

Who the hell hates animals? Your mother sounds like an inhuman monster.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723295)

Who the hell hates animals? Your mother sounds like an inhuman monster.

Or perhaps she just hates the mess or the noise they make, or their tendency to bite (rightly) if they're mistreated or mistrained.

Not everyone wants to live with animals. I pity such people, but I respect their choice.

Re:I KNEW IT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723311)

That means that you don't have pets, it doesn't mean that you HATE animals like OP's mother does.

Learn to read before you comment, stupid motherfucker.

Re:I KNEW IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723481)

That means that you don't have pets, it doesn't mean that you HATE animals like OP's mother does.

Learn to read before you comment, stupid motherfucker.

Calm down, and learn to recognize hyperbole. OP said his/her mother hated animals. It's entirely reasonable (and highly likely) that OP was exaggerating for rhetorical effect. Probably she just didn't want them in her house.

Re:I KNEW IT! (0)

ruir (2709173) | about 7 months ago | (#45723555)

In urban areas, should not be a choice at all. I dont want really to hear dogs barking at night, or step on dogs poo. But then, it is not he fault of the dog, but the stupidity of the owners. And even in rural areas, it is not usual to keep fido at bay, the farthest you can from your own house, but right next to the neighbours.

Re:I KNEW IT! (5, Insightful)

MrNiCeGUi (302919) | about 7 months ago | (#45723629)

I must disagree with your rationale for wanting dogs banned in urban areas (because that's what I deduce from your wording that you want). There are already laws in place for dealing with those aspects that annoy you, respectively noise and littering.

The fact that there are inconsiderate people out there is not, in itself, sufficient to call for an outright ban.

I lived close to a bar, and I can tell you a thing or two about noise, street fights and vomit on the sidewalk. I still did not consider asking for a ban on all bars within urban areas. I did, however, call the police when i considered it appropriate.

Re:I KNEW IT! (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#45723771)

Really, I don't mind well behaved dogs, but anyone telling you that any laws on the books dealing with constantly barking dogs or dog crap on the sidewalks will have any effect at all is insane.

Police will not enforce such laws. Animal control will not enforce those laws. Until the neighborhood comes to blows, nothing you say will make the slightest difference.

There is something about dog ownership that causes deafness.

The closer the dwellings, the smaller the dogs need to be, and the less time they should be allowed chained up outside.

Re:I KNEW IT! (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#45724023)

Police will not enforce such laws. Animal control will not enforce those laws. Until the neighborhood comes to blows, nothing you say will make the slightest difference.

Rifle?

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 7 months ago | (#45726795)

Police will not enforce such laws. Animal control will not enforce those laws. Until the neighborhood comes to blows, nothing you say will make the slightest difference.

Rifle?

Prison?

You can't shoot at someone (two- or four-legged) just because they're pissing you off.

[And yes, I saw the Funny mod, and I agree with it.]

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45724933)

Around here, it's a $50 ticket for not having a bag with you to pick up poop. There's no dog poop on the sidewalks. There are lots of dogs. You may live in a less civilized area, but don't push your hangups on me.

I'm not implying that the fine is the cause of the good behavior or an indication of civilization. I mentioned both the fine and the lack of poop on sidewalks two points of evidence which contradict the bulk of your post.

Re:I KNEW IT! (4, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#45725183)

There is something about dog ownership that causes deafness.

The solution then to the barking dog problem is to get your own dog.

Re:I KNEW IT! (5, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | about 7 months ago | (#45725365)

There are alphas like that and they should be fined, repeatedly. But you may not understand our situation.

Our barking is to indicate a warning to our packmates or to scare off a threat (or occasionally to intimidate a squirrel). We don't bark much when our alphas are home to hear us because our alphas quickly reassure us that they don't need us to help frighten off the threat. Once our packmates acknowledge the situation, we know we have done our job and can go back to more productive activities.

However, some things are too scary to stop barking, and one simply must keep barking until it has gone away.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

slugstone (307678) | about 7 months ago | (#45726457)

Is that you Little Jake?

I did not know my dogs have a /. account. Now I need to talk to them about internet safety.

Re:I KNEW IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45726687)

Fur faggotry detected. Kill it with fire, yiff in hell furry, etc.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

Roadmaster (96317) | about 7 months ago | (#45725393)

Where I live, Police will not enforce such laws. Animal control will not enforce those laws.

TFTFY. But really, if your authorities don't do their job, that's again no reason to seek outright bans on household animals. Vote to have the authorities changed by a team who cares. Failing that, move to a different location where authorities do care.

Re:I KNEW IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45725875)

What about babies?

Re:I KNEW IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45724977)

I don't want to hear stupid humans talk like you do, that doesn't mean we should get rid of all people like you, or send you to a cave, where you don't bother anyone with your stupidity.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 7 months ago | (#45726733)

Or perhaps she just hates the mess or the noise they make

Mess? Absolutely. Noise? We have an 80-pound Golden Retriever. He's quietest guy in the house.

Re:I KNEW IT! (2)

ruir (2709173) | about 7 months ago | (#45723543)

I dont want an animal any near my home. No responsibilities, no worries, no mess. Besides, it would not be sane for both of us to keep a dog in an apartment. And is it human for the dog and the neighbours to keep dogs confined to varandas? If you call other people monsters because of not wanting or liking pets, you really ought to have your head examined. But then, replying to an AC...

Re:I KNEW IT! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723623)

If you hate animals, then you need to do the world a favour and kill yourself.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723789)

I love animals. I can't stand vegetables.

Re:I KNEW IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45724827)

I fucking loathe minerals.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 7 months ago | (#45724929)

Who the hell hates animals? Your mother sounds like an inhuman monster.

Well, that's what self-hatred does to you after some time. ;-)

Re:I KNEW IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45726077)

Who the hell hates animals? Your mother sounds like an inhuman monster.

I hate dogs. Not all dogs, or any specific dogs. We have a dog, and I like him well enough. I tolerate him at the very least. I endeavor not to show him that I dislike him, because animal or not who would want to live in that kind of environment?

When someone says they hate dogs or hate animals, they probably mean the concept of dogs or animals: Messy, shit on the lawn, biting, jumping, leg humping, dirt tracked through the house... honestly there is plenty to hate about dogs. If your neighbor constantly did those things you'd want him committed to an asylum if you didn't outright want to shoot him, though somehow people who like the companionship of dogs think everyone should be fine with an animal that does all those things.

If anyone is wondering, despite my dislike for the animals in general, I chose to set aside my feelings for the good of my kids because I'd rather spend 20 years grumbling about the shit on the bottom of my shoe than have my kids spend 20 years wishing they had a faithful pet pooch growing up like seemingly everyone else. This story is an added plus, but honestly other than the news that it's a gut microbe I thought this was kind of common knowledge. Allergies aren't permanent and small exposure over time has been proven to cure them (there was a peanut allergy study discussed on Slashdot a year or two ago)

In other words ... (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 7 months ago | (#45723285)

What TFA suggests is to get a "dirty dog" which pass on some "gut microbes" onto the human babies which, according to TFA, may help the human babies to fight allergies.

This scenario has several implications:

1. How the "gut microbes" being passed from that "dirty dog" to the human infant ?

Shit.

Specifically, dog shit.

Which means, the human infant somehow ingested some of the dog shit which contains the microbes that previously reside inside the dog's guts.

2. The transfer of a microbe from a species (dog) to another (human) may, or may not work.

It may even be very harmful.

If the microbes are of the "benign" kind, yes, it may benefit the human baby, as TFA has suggested.

But if the microbes are of the nasty kind, it may bring on transgenic diseases.

3. There may be a better and more hygienic way of boosting the human baby's immune responses --- Mother's milk.

Human babies who were fed the milk from their mothers are healthier and have better protection from many diseases. This is because, when the baby consume the milk from their mothers, they also consume beneficial microbes that were mixed in with the milk.

In conclusion - it is better to have your human babies to be fed mother's milk than to be fed dog shit.

Re: In other words ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723437)

How about a simple lick on the face? When I was a kid we had a dog, I recall getting licked all the time, but I don't ever remember chowing down on a steaming turd...

Re:In other words ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723461)

It's simpler (and cleaner) than that: licking.

Many dog owners have the same intestinal flora as their dogs because they get their hands licked and don't wash them before eating.

Re:In other words ... (5, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#45723515)

You'd actually be surprised to hear that mother's body prepares itself for giving birth by allocating a number of fecal bacteria to the vagina, which baby licks up on its way down the birth canal.

So yes, nature intends for babies to "eat shit". Because it's needed to establish appropriate gut flora. To the point where nowadays doctors take vaginal swabs and put them in baby's mouth if baby is born of cesarean section and cannot get these naturally.

Re:In other words ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45724453)

I swear, God is a fucking troll.

Re:In other words ... (3, Informative)

Bengie (1121981) | about 7 months ago | (#45724865)

The vagina does actually change to some degree and the bacterial flora changes. Turns out this change increases "good" bacteria for the infant and infants tend to ingest some of the bacteria on the way out. Other research has shown that infants actually have strong immune systems, they're just suppressed via a gene expression while they're young. Seems this gives time for bacteria to settle and make a strong biome, while giving the body time to learn to play nice with these bacteria.

Re:In other words ... (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 7 months ago | (#45725053)

I swear, God is a fucking troll.

No, God just loves incestuous scat child pornography. Either that, or it's evolution. You decide, based on whether you're religious or not. ;-)

Re:In other words ... (2)

EvilSS (557649) | about 7 months ago | (#45724749)

As a person who studied A&P in college, I'm sure as hell surprised by this revelation. How, exactly, does this "allocating" occur? Trans-lumen transporter beam?

Re:In other words ... (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 7 months ago | (#45725797)

Leakage. Think a little.

Re:In other words ... (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 7 months ago | (#45725999)

If you are leaking between the vaginal canal and anus, you have a fistula and should probably see a doctor. This still doesn't explain how the body can "allocate" microbes, as posed in the original post.

Re:In other words ... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 7 months ago | (#45725879)

Proximity and changing pH, I'd imagine.

Re:In other words ... (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 7 months ago | (#45725767)

Woah -- mind officially *blown*!

I'm not kidding. This is definitely one of the more interesting bits of trivia that I've learned in a long time. It means that it's common and widespread knowledge from doctors that humans need intestinal flora "training."

It's not long now until we start getting a lot smarter about immunizations and healthy living, and stop this nonsense with using anti-bacterial poisons on everything.

I still remember sterilizing bottle nipples for my boy and my anxious wife, only to discover half a cockroach in his mouth one day when he was 6 months old. I said to my wife; "Obviously, nature thinks we are being to fastidious." His mouth wouldn't be programmed to lick everything in the house if it weren't a useful process.

The only real difference I see with today's modern immunizations is that they have "dead" viruses and adjutants to excite an immune response. This may not be appropriate or the "best" way for the immune system to be trained in all cases -- and we might be seeing the proof of this by witnessing such a huge increase in food and other allergies in children. I've been pointing out to the "pro immunization" crowd for some time now, that the body may have trouble recognizing the difference between what is injected in an antivirus and what is a first exposure to a small baby. The body can reject chicken pox and peas if the baby gets an immunization with their first dose of peas.

Humans are a "biological system" -- not just DNA that instructs stem cells. And "poop on the mouth" treatments for babies is finally recognizing that we are an amalgam. A lot of these sorts of considerations need to be used when dealing with premature babies.

I'm going to predict right now -- though this isn't the first time. That "poop transplants" will be the #1 method for dieting, immune and digestive system treatments and to modify food cravings in a few years.

Re:In other words ... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 7 months ago | (#45726717)

You'd actually be surprised to hear that mother's body prepares itself for giving birth by allocating a number of fecal bacteria to the vagina, which baby licks up on its way down the birth canal.

So yes, nature intends for babies to "eat shit". Because it's needed to establish appropriate gut flora. To the point where nowadays doctors take vaginal swabs and put them in baby's mouth if baby is born of cesarean section and cannot get these naturally.

It was also discovered that the infant immune system is intentionally suppressed during childbirth. Intentionally. It's not that they didn't have an immune system, it's that there's a hormone that suppresses it for the first couple of weeks.

And why do such a dangerous thing? Because the gut of a newborn is sterile. To help encourage bacteria to take up residence, the immune system is suppressed to let the colonies establish themselves.

Re:In other words ... (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 7 months ago | (#45723523)

Actually, the babies get their first shot of gut bacteria at birth. Unless it is a caesarean.

Re:In other words ... (2)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about 7 months ago | (#45724119)

The signs that a dog is harboring harmful intestinal bacteria are not exactly subtle.

Re:In other words ... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 7 months ago | (#45724883)

neither is it after I've had a strong curry... fortunately I can blame the less-than-subtle effects as coming from the dog.

Re:In other words ... (2)

EvilSS (557649) | about 7 months ago | (#45724735)

What TFA suggests is to get a "dirty dog" which pass on some "gut microbes" onto the human babies which, according to TFA, may help the human babies to fight allergies.

This scenario has several implications:

1. How the "gut microbes" being passed from that "dirty dog" to the human infant ?

Shit.

Specifically, dog shit.

Which means, the human infant somehow ingested some of the dog shit which contains the microbes that previously reside inside the dog's guts.

2. The transfer of a microbe from a species (dog) to another (human) may, or may not work.

It may even be very harmful.

If the microbes are of the "benign" kind, yes, it may benefit the human baby, as TFA has suggested.

But if the microbes are of the nasty kind, it may bring on transgenic diseases.

Yes, this is also how the parent's gut microbes are passed to their infant as well. It's a well known fact that fathers giving their newborns what we today call a "dirty Sanchez" immediately after childbirth goes back 10's of millions of years as a way to pass on their unique gut flora.

Wait, what's that? Oh, sorry, I'm being told it's transferred via saliva. Hey, maybe that's how the dog to human transfer works too...

Re:In other words ... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#45725323)

Isn't looking for a "hygienic" way to expose a person to microbes like looking for a pornography store without the smut? The unhygienic part of poop (or saliva, blood, skin, or any tissue or fluid) is the microbes. Example: What's the polio vaccine? Weakened or killed virus from poop. Why did kids need it? Too little exposure to poop as a result of better sanitation.

Also what dangerous zoonotic (transgenic means something else) disease do you expect to catch from Fido that you're not just as likely to get from another human? You don't want to know where your baby's doctor's tie has been.

Also, before some Slashdot Aspie suggests I'm advocating living in filth: I am not suggesting we live in filth.

Re:I KNEW IT! (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 7 months ago | (#45723321)

Oddly the only thing I'm allergic to is dog dander, I've been that way ever since I was a little kid.

Re:I KNEW IT! (4, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#45723507)

If you consider what allergic reaction is, your observation makes sense.

Allergic reaction is your immune system looking for enemies, not finding them and attacking benign or even symbiotic cells instead. When you get a dog, alongside all the hair you get those foreign microbes and suddenly your immune system has proper enemies to fight - so it can "recalibrate" itself to combat those instead of friendlies.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

Brama (80257) | about 7 months ago | (#45723631)

I have a very different experience. We had several dogs (2-3 on average) and a few cats. I've had allergies all during my youth. Mostly pollen, cats, dogs. I still hate the smell of freshly mowed grass. That was one of the worst.

The upshot is that past my early twenties, pretty much all allergies have almost completely disappeared. I can now inhale deeply standing over freshly mowed grass and not suffer. The strong negative association with the smell is a little harder to get rid of though.

Re:I KNEW IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723807)

Yo Quiero Asthma Cure [snopes.com]

Did that have anything to do with your choice to bring in the Chihuahua? Have met those that swear by it.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 7 months ago | (#45724637)

I grew up with animals, mostly dogs, practically all my life. Always at least one, sometimes three. Apart from being the most loyal and loving companions you can hope for, it seems they actually did something for me in return. I do have zero allergies.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about 7 months ago | (#45724875)

Flash forward 20 years -- I get a dog, a little Chihuahua that lives inside my house. I'm sure his hair and dander is all over the place and I breathe it in every day.

Your experience does not fit the hypothesis. The way it is understood to work is that as a child you develop resistance with the right exposure, but once you are a teen or older, exposure doesn't help you all that much, it only stimulates the allergic response.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

fredrated (639554) | about 7 months ago | (#45725119)

Picking your nose and eating the boogers also works. A study demonstrated this many years ago. Gross I know, but I have done it all my life and I have never had an allergy to anything ever.

Re:I KNEW IT! (1)

antdude (79039) | about 7 months ago | (#45725821)

Interesting. Just like my young life. I thought that only worked with younglings. My allergies are getting worse when I am almost 40. I do get a lot of dusts (my computers and air filters show that) since I live in a dry area (Los Angeles/L.A.). It also didn't help that I had to stay in the hospital for half of a year after I was born due to my multiple disabilities.

When I was older as a callow ant/child/kid (not a baby goat), I have had pets but not furry types like cats and dogs (not allergic to them). I had small ones like fishes, insects (ants too), hermit crabs, cra(w/y)fishes, a frog/toad from tadpole, etc. I don't have any pets now since I am too BUSY and tired to take care of them. :(

I have met people who have cats and they still have allergies though. :(

Makes sense (5, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | about 7 months ago | (#45723189)

It makes sense. I have always said that keeping your kids in an aseptic environment is not helping them to build resistance for when they get out to the real world at some point.

Do you remember that South Park episode where the parents would get their kids with other sick kids for them to also get sick? Well, there is some truth to it...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickenpox_(South_Park) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Makes sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723261)

Sad part is the money wasted to research something under the category of DUH!!!!

I also noticed having a dog seems to prevent me from getting the common cold or even the flu, all tho the flu thing is probably false..

Re:Makes sense (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 7 months ago | (#45723529)

Of course it might also be caused the fact that with a dog you are forced to regularly go outside.

Re:Makes sense (1)

real gumby (11516) | about 7 months ago | (#45723267)

Do you remember that South Park episode where the parents would get their kids with other sick kids for them to also get sick? Well, there is some truth to it...

Strange that that is considered bizarre enough for south park. My mum is an M.D. and when I was a kid she had me go play with one of her patients (a kid) who had chicken pox, so I would get it. (In the 60s, in a small town, there wasn’t much medical privacy...or many doctors).

Why yes, now you ask: I assume she did this to help me, but perhaps my judgement isn't good.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45726247)

Yep, now you just have shingles to look forward to. Thank goodness for vaccines.

Re:Makes sense (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 7 months ago | (#45723751)

People used to do this for chickenpox specifically, because getting it as a young child is usually unpleasant, while getting it as an adult can be life threatening. These days we have vaccinations which achieve the same result without the unpleasant side effects.

But for allergies, the point isn't exposure to specific diseases, but to build up a young child's immune system to the point where it learns how to react to different pathogens instead of spending most of their life in an overly sterile environment and the immune system overreacting every time it comes across anything unknown.

Re:Makes sense (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 7 months ago | (#45723875)

Did you always say that before or after this lady [pbs.org] ?

The relevant bit:

"The Hygiene Hypothesis," is that children who are around numerous other children or animals early in life are exposed to more microbes, and their immune systems develop more tolerance for the irritants that cause asthma. She is now researching the levels of allergy and asthma in children who live in villages as compared with children who live on a farm and are exposed to livestock.

According to this "hygiene hypothesis,'' the human immune system evolved two types of biological defenses. When one defensive system lacks practice fighting bacteria and viruses, perhaps from an overly sanitary lifestyle, the other system becomes too powerful and overreacts -- as an allergic reaction -- to harmless substances like pollen.

Red Rocket! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45724111)

I do remember that episode, although it's nowhere near as memorable as the "Proper Condom Use" [wikipedia.org] episode, the other benefit of exposing kids to dogs ;)

Re:Makes sense (1)

xorsyst (1279232) | about 7 months ago | (#45725779)

There is some truth to it? Hell, everyone did that when I was a kid in the 80s. Still didn't catch the damn thing until I was 16 though.

This posting... (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 7 months ago | (#45723193)

...caused me to look fondly, once more, at Keks, my dog.C'mon boy, lick my hand !

Lactobacillus. johnsonii (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 7 months ago | (#45723205)

the money quote:

"Supplementation of wild-type animals with L. johnsonii protected them against both airway allergen challenge or infection with respiratory syncytial virus."

Re:Lactobacillus. johnsonii (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723239)

In addition, a study conducted by La Ragione et al. (2004) addressed the beneficial use of L. johnsonii in the poultry industry. This study found that the administration of L. johnsonii in chickens helped control diseases caused by Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens. Thus, L. johnsonii has the potential to be directly used in the poultry industry as an alternative to antimicrobials

Re:Lactobacillus. johnsonii (1)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | about 7 months ago | (#45723273)

you don't need a dog but you do need dog crap.

Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723271)

Always had cats, dogs, horses. Plenty of exposure to everything when i was a little kid. Used to spend my days in the woods and fields with a head full of snot.

Still ended up being severely allergic to a ton of stuff. Currently have a dog and 3 cats i'm SEVERELY allergic to.

correlation doesn't equal causation.

Science and medicine just has no fucking clue. But they don't want to just come out and SAY that.

I want s ome money for guessing too. My guess is.... SHIT HAPPENS!

Re:Bullshit. (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 7 months ago | (#45723521)

Always had cats, dogs, horses. Plenty of exposure to everything when i was a little kid. Used to spend my days in the woods and fields with a head full of snot.

Still ended up being severely allergic to a ton of stuff.

I'm pretty sure that in my case, it's the massive variety of pollen in the San Francisco Bay Area; there are tons of imported species, particularly a huge variety of trees with the accompanying tree pollen. There are things I used to be exposed to on a daily basis in Tucson, AZ which did not result in allergic reactions, but about 2 and a half years in the Bay Area, and it's allergy city for me.

Re:Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45724177)

San Francisco? You're allergic to smug.

Re:Bullshit. (1)

styrotech (136124) | about 7 months ago | (#45723669)

Always had cats, dogs, horses. Plenty of exposure to everything when i was a little kid. Used to spend my days in the woods and fields with a head full of snot.

Still ended up being severely allergic to a ton of stuff. Currently have a dog and 3 cats i'm SEVERELY allergic to.
correlation doesn't equal causation.

correlation doesn't equal causation.

Science and medicine just has no fucking clue. But they don't want to just come out and SAY that.

I want s ome money for guessing too. My guess is.... SHIT HAPPENS!

I will see your lazy knee jerk slashdot cliche and raise you another...

"Anecdote != data"

Speaking of slashdot cliches, you obviously didn't read the article to find out what they actually studied. Hint: it involved isolating the effect of a specific microbe on T cell counts (and symptoms) in the lab - it wasn't "collect some health data on some kids and run it through a stats package looking for some kind of relationship".

Re:Bullshit. (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 7 months ago | (#45724789)

Your problem is the cats. Cat evil cancels out dog goodness. Get rid of the cats, or at the very least dress them in little biohazard suits.

Re:Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45725331)

Always had cats, dogs, horses. Plenty of exposure to everything when i was a little kid. Used to spend my days in the woods and fields with a head full of snot.

Still ended up being severely allergic to a ton of stuff. Currently have a dog and 3 cats i'm SEVERELY allergic to.

Well, case closed. That's all the proof I need. Guess we can wrap this topic up.

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723275)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X29lF43mUlo

Doesn't work (5, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 7 months ago | (#45723297)

I already tried this, but all that happened was that Snoop stole my weed and banged my wife. Didn't really help my allergies at all.

Will dirty lying dogs help? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 7 months ago | (#45723361)

To Congress, make haste!

dogs vs cats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723391)

so cats turn you into lemmings with their gut bacteria, and dogs make it so you can breathe normal with theirs. yay dogs!

Re:dogs vs cats (1)

lxs (131946) | about 7 months ago | (#45723565)

After the dog result, they tried to study the effect of having a cat on lab mice but it ate them all. Extrapolating to humans the researchers posited hat cats are baby eating monsters and abandoned the study.

Re:dogs vs cats (1)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about 7 months ago | (#45724133)

anyone who has a pet cat already knows this.

Not Really News. (1)

ApplePy (2703131) | about 7 months ago | (#45723595)

I already learned this from George Carlin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X29lF43mUlo [youtube.com]

I'm expecting the next Slashdot headline to read "Will the Sun come up tomorrow? Probably."

The Finns already know it (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 7 months ago | (#45723679)

A Finnish friend of mine told me when kids there reach the age of 2, during summer holidays, they take them to the countryside and get them to play naked in dirt and mud on purpose, to build up their immune system.

Re:The Finns already know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723763)

Your Finnish friend was joking...

Re:The Finns already know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723831)

A Finnish friend of mine told me when kids there reach the age of 2, during summer holidays, they take them to the countryside and get them to play naked in dirt and mud on purpose, to build up their immune system.

Your Finnish friend was joking...

Or a member of a pedo-bear group into nude mud-wrestling..

Could I get a dirty girl instead ? (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 7 months ago | (#45723769)

Please.

Not in my case (2)

Robin Cornelius (3467005) | about 7 months ago | (#45723827)

My wife was brought up on a farm, they had pet cats and dogs she had horses and now later in life she has developed severe asthma and dogs and cats effect her really badly. She has also developed bad allergies to preservatives in food and now has to carry an epipen in case of anaphylaxis.

Re:Not in my case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45724063)

Same here. My parents had a dog from the time when I was born until I was about 4 years old. Later, not only did I develop a severe allergic reaction to dogs, but also asthma. Cats are no problem however. I'm on my 2nd cat now. What many people don't understand is that Cats and Dogs have different allergens.

Re:Not in my case (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45724209)

Same here - born in rural area with two dogs, a cat, chickens in the yard, routine visits to dairy farm with cows, horses, pigs. Severe allergies and asthma diagnosed at 2 including to dogs, cats, horses. And have developed food allergies as an adult. Anecdotal, but don't think lack of early exposure to livestock and animals explains it.

I had a lot of animals and still I have allergies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45723935)

My father loves animals so for my entire childhood I was surrounded by animals. It was almost as if I was living on a farm. We had dogs, cats, pigeons, sometimes rabbits, a parrot... and I am now 37 and I have a lot of allergies. I got most of them while I was at the university and I was not living with my parents then. Maybe I should have adopted a stray dog.

I'll name her sniffles (1)

nutznboltz (473437) | about 7 months ago | (#45724025)

ba-doom-ba!

Old news - Hook Worms and Allergies (1)

fezzzz (1774514) | about 7 months ago | (#45724519)

A lot of research has been done where hookworms are used to treat allergies. The main concept being that a modern immune system is bored without an enemy to attack and then attacks innocent cells.

Say the body is America and the immune system is America's defence force. The immune system is needed when dangerous pathogens appear, in the same way that American troops are needed to defend against enemies. If America is in no war and all its troops are recalled without downsizing the military, these troops will get bored and start identifying innocent people as enemies. It might shoot down a trainee pilot from Canada when entering American air space. This plane falls on a city and damages property or may start a fire in America. In the same way, the immune system may become bored when there are very few pathogen and starts attacking molecules that are not dangerous. Just as the defence force can be trained to identify russian fighter aircraft on a radar, so the immune system can be trained to identify pathogens correctly by means of vaccinations. In the extreme case, the defence force might attack the poor Canadian with an atomic bomb so big it destroys the whole continent. In the same way an allergic reaction can kill the person.

Now in Helminthic Therapy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminthic_therapy [wikipedia.org] , the hookworms are used as a perpetual enemy in the same way that America might used Afghanistan/Vietnam/Iraq. This causes a constant drain of blood, but when controlled, it may improve the health of the body overall.

Dogs are carriers of hookworms and the benefits of hookworms and allergies has been known for a long time, so in my opinion, this article is old news.

Didn't work for me (1)

swb (14022) | about 7 months ago | (#45724563)

We had a dog in the house until I was about 8 or 9, but I had such severe dust and pollen allergies that I once spent a week in an oxygen tent and then went through weekly allergy therapy shots for several years. I had a window air conditioner in my bedroom on recirculate during the warm weather months to keep the air semi-filtered (this was in the early 1970s before the advent of HEPA filtration devices).

We couldn't even have a real Christmas tree or wreath in the house. We had one early on and I was super sick until my parents realized that it made me sick and we had to ditch the tree AND the wreath right before Christmas.

Of course there are exceptions... (2)

realkiwi (23584) | about 7 months ago | (#45724601)

Born and raised a NZ farmers son I have been allergic (pollen) and suffered from asthma (allergic not chronic) all my life. I grew up surrounded by dirty dogs and more sheep and cattle than most people will ever see in a whole lifetime.

Did the fact that precautions were not taken with farm chemicals back then have something to do with the allergy. I have been exposed to DDT, pesticides, feretilizers, you name it.

So OK maybe this works in a city environnement with kids that live in a modern hyper clean envirronment and who eat agro-industry cr@p er sorry food. Didn't work for this farmers son.

Re:Of course there are exceptions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45725379)

Yeah, same here. Grew up with dogs, chickens, goats, etc. on a small farm and I have a pile of common allergies.

Re:Of course there are exceptions... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#45725715)

I'm asthmatic and allergic to dogs, you insensitive clod! And furthermore, my dad had a dog when I was a kid.

I personally blame my asthma on my mother smoking until she found out she was pregnant, and my father smoking until shortly before he died, including all throughout the pregnancy, in the car, in the car after I was born, etc etc. There's no family history of it on either side. But of course, there's no way to know. It's convenient, though, because one parent is dead and I don't talk to the other one.

And no, I am not passing on these genes. They're just not that fantastic. Good enough for my purposes, but they could be better even there. If I weren't asthmatic, I likely also wouldn't ever have become overweight.

Read this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45726371)

Sucks that you were surrounded by smokers growing up. Me too and maybe that is the reason for my severe allergies.

However, read this:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/07/23/original-aom-comic-2-theodore-roosevelt-ill-make-my-body/

Re: Of course there are exceptions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45726195)

Ssh remember NZ is supposed to be all pure unspoiled clean and green...

Not new (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 7 months ago | (#45724697)

I was allergic to cats. I got one. It's much better now. Simple logic. When I was a kid, we traded drinks between 5-6 of us, played in the dirt, went for a whole afternoon without washing our hands. People didn't use hand sanitizers. We weren't always sick either.

WOW! (1)

wganz (113345) | about 7 months ago | (#45725105)

Humans and dogs have a symbiotic relationship after +20K of living together.

In Soviet Russia . . . (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#45725371)

In Soviet Russia, dogs are allergic to you.

Also in my house.

Recently found out some of the allergens that my constantly irritate my dog, a list which includes cat and human dander.

Allergies and environmental factors (1)

the_arrow (171557) | about 7 months ago | (#45726123)

Some allergies don't depend on environmental factors.

Take me, for example. A couple of years of my childhood I spent some time after school each day on a farm. That included the occasional playing and jumping in the hay. It didn't happen every day, week, or even every month, but it happened and it was damn fun (but really dangerous). Then comes puberty and figuratively from one day to another I developed "hay-fever" and pollen allergies (mainly for grass).

Anecdotal and small sample size and all that, but I really don't think overexposure to grass was the reason, because I wasn't really exposed to it that much. But the exposure I had certainly didn't help me, I developed allergies to it anyway.

What I'm trying to say is that environmental factors, like having a dog, doesn't always play a roll, sometimes there are other factors that makes you develop allergies (genetics, mostly). While having a dog may help, I would get one (or rather, a couple of cats) more for reason that it's good for my kid for other reasons (learning empathy, the natural cycle of life, not hitting people or animals in the head with a spoon, and a damn good company).

Stay healthy (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#45726221)

Eat poop.

Re:Stay healthy (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#45726685)

100 billion flies can't be wrong!

Makes sense (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45727005)

We had three large dogs when our daughter was born. The dogs lived inside and were well socialized, and daughter became just another member of the pack. Although this is only one data point, it's interesting that she has no allergies (I have severe allergies to pollen and cats) and was hardly ever sick. We put it down to her immune system getting exercised at an early age.

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