A new study has revealed that kids who wash dishes have fewer allergies. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics and adds to the already large body of evidence that exposure to dirt strengthens the immune system and that the reason why kids are developing more and more allergies is because their environment is too clean.
The new study revealed that washing dishes by hand lowers the risk of developing allergies. Until now some other factors have been discovered as lowering the risk of developing allergies, such as eating fish, having pets and living on a farm.
Doctor Bill Hesselmar, lead author of the study and medic at the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, said that if one is exposed to microbes early in life, the immune system gets stimulated and it becomes much more tolerant.
For their study, Hesselmar and his colleagues surveyed the parents of 1,029 Swedish children with ages from 7 to 8. After careful examination of the results it was found that children in homes where the families washed the dishes by hand were less likely to have allergies when compared to children in families who used a machine.
Out of the total of children, 23% of kids whose parents washed the dishes by hand has a history of eczema and 38% of kids whose families used a machine. It was also revealed that the results of the study amplified when kids ate food bought from farms or ate fermented food.
Hesselmar stated that the study cannot confirm causality, as it is just an observational study. For example, it may just be that the dishes washed by hand are simply not clean enough as the ones washed by the dishwasher, as it was previously revealed by a study. So, it may not just be that kids who wash the dishes themselves get exposed to bacteria that reduce the risk of developing allergies.
This new study that indirectly reveals that kids who wash dishes have less allergies, may not give too much information on allergies, but it is a good starting point for more research to be done in the area.
Jonathan A. Eisen, professor at the University of California at Davis said that the study was well done and caveated well and it also suggested interesting models and new areas of research.
Image Source: Christine Carter