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Amish school children have a lower prevalence of allergies and asthma, a finding that lends credence to the so-called hygiene hypothesis. In his presentation at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology annual meeting, the author reported that children who drank raw, unpasteurized milk and had been exposed to cows (or their mother had been exposed while pregnant) had reduced allergic sensitization, according to skin prick tests.
RESULT: Farm Living Linked to Low Asthma Prevalence
Skin and Allergy News | Mar 5, 2012 (FREE FULL TEXT)
What’s the connection? It’s the whey protein in raw milk that confers the protective effect, according to this large survey of European farm families. The researchers collected milk samples at the families’ homes and measured milk constituents. Higher levels of whey protein in the milk led to less asthma (but not atopy), as measured by blood levels of IgE.
RESULT: The protective effect of farm milk consumption on childhood asthma and atopy: the GABRIELA study
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (PubMed) | Oct 1, 2011 (Free abstract. Full text $31.50)
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