The leading theory behind the uptick in childhood allergies, says Andy Nish, a physician with a private practice in Gainesville, Ga., is the hygiene hypothesis. Paradoxically, the theory goes, we’re too clean.
“It looks like with our modern conditions and cleanliness that we have fewer and fewer germs to fight off,” Nish says. Our immune systems protect us by learning to fight off foreign invaders, whether they’re harmless or not. We can’t train our defenses if we don’t get exposed. And if you’re allergic to one thing, you’re likely allergic to a number of things.
Studies show children who live on farms have low rates of allergies. Dr. Mark Holbreich, an allergist in Indianapolis and a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, calls it “the farm effect.”
Holbreich recently did a study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, which found very low rates of allergies among Amish children living on farms in Indiana. He says the reason may be because the children get exposed very early on to dirty environments, and to a variety of dust and germs. Even young kids are often in the barn, working with animals, and drinking raw milk.
“We think there’s something about milk,” Holbreich says. “That’s key, along with exposure to large animals, particularly cows.”
So maybe pasteurization isn’t the end-all, be-all, after all… Sadly, even Holbreich can’t stomach the implications of his own studies, as in the next breath, he “cautions against drinking raw milk or serving it to your child. It contains too many dangerous, disease-causing bacteria”, despite his own findings. What cognitive dissonance he must suffer…
This isn’t the first such study to find raw milk prevents allergies, either…
And why can’t the type of ‘conservatives’ who rightly sneer at the totalitarian instincts of vegetarians and vegans, stop lumping them in with others pursuing different alternative diets, such as raw milk, paleo, and organic food enthusiasts, and support an end to the tyrannical, anti-freedom ban on raw milk?