Why everybody is suddenly allergic to everything
08
March

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /


Here’s a fun fact about the Amish they
don’t really get allergies that’s right while you city dwellers are making a
lunch run for dairy free gluten free sugar-free nut-free vegan Kale wraps,
most Amish can chow down on whatever a 2012 study of Amish children in Indiana
found that only 7% had some kind of allergy sensitization compared to 36% of
American children as a whole. This is an important fact because if you haven’t
noticed the allergy rate in the Western world is getting kind of nuts
in the United States shellfish allergies have gone up 40% in just the last 15
years and nut allergies have quadrupled and the UK hospital admissions for
allergies have gone up five hundred percent since 1990 with British children
also undergoing a five-fold increase in the rates of peanut allergies so what’s
going on why are the Amish happily chugging milk and breathing pollen while
the rest of us can’t so much just look at a plate of pad thai for one thing we
haven’t been parenting our kids rect for a long time the advice was to not expose
your kids to potentially harmful allergens until they were older parents
were told not to feed their kids peanuts until age 3 for instance now it turns
out that this was all wrong by denying children early exposure to allergens it
was actually causing them to become allergic one particularly illuminating
study looked at the peanut allergy rates among Jewish children in Israel and
Jewish children in the UK they’re both Jewish serology rates should be about
the same right wrong the British kids had a rate of peanut allergies ten times
higher than the Israeli kids the reason Israelis were chowing down on
peanuts as babies and whereas Brits weren’t getting peanuts until they were
toddlers the result was that by the time many Brits got their first taste of
peanut their bodies couldn’t handle it it turns out there’s a brief window of
time after you’re born in which your body is super receptive to unfamiliar
and will react to them miss that window and boom you’re allergic
that’s why groups like the United States National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases are now advising parents to load up their kids with
potentially allergenic food including peanut butter before the age of six
months another explanation for our now spiking allergy rates is called the
hygiene hypothesis the gist is that by living super sanitized HEPA filter
Purell soap lives we are becoming increasingly fragile people unable to
stomach even our own food some of the most compelling evidence is that farm
children are consistently less allergenic than children living in
cities the same is true of rich countries versus poor countries a 2007
study in the American Journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
found the more developed the country the higher were the rates of allergy induced
asthma of the places probed by the study the city with one of the lowest rates of
allergic asthma was Mumbai India a place known for many things with cleanliness
not being one of them the phenomenon has even been noticed among migrants
immigrants from a low allergy country like Turkey or Egypt moved to a Western
country like Canada or the United States then when they have their first kids in
the West those kids are just as racked with
allergies and asthma as the other kids in their play school allergies are
caused by your immune system thus taking harmless things for pathogens and then
shifting into high gear to battle it the hygiene hypothesis holds that those of
us in the West aren’t giving our immune system to proper workout
so it’s essentially shorting out and treating everything like a threat you’re
never going to completely get rid of allergies even Amish kids Israeli babies
and Mumbai cars have some allergies among them but there’s obviously a
reason an allergy rates everywhere else are skyrocketing and the evidence so far
seems to indicate that grandpa was right a little dirt is probably good for you
eat food off the floor let’s dog give you kisses and let your baby inhale some
dust might be too clean for our own good


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