Enjoying the company of pets at home has benefits for the emotional well-being of the little ones and also for their health, since there are studies that have associated living with dogs and cats with a lower propensity of children to develop obesity and allergies. Now, a new investigation comes to confirm these advantages because it has shown that the children who had been exposed to dogs or cats domestic animals during their development in the womb or in their early childhood were less vulnerable to food allergies.
The study was conducted by scientists at the Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environment and Children’s Study, who analyzed data on 66,215 children from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study (a prospective study of nationwide birth cohorts). nationally), of which approximately 22% were exposed to pets during the fetal period.
The results have been published in PLOS ONE and have revealed that among children who lived with dogs and cats indoors, the incidence of food allergies was significantly lower, although no significant differences were found for children in homes with dogs outdoors.
One in 10 children suffers from a food allergy.
Specifically, children exposed to dogs living in the home were significantly less likely to experience egg, milk, and nut allergies, while children exposed to cats were significantly less likely to have egg, wheat, and wheat allergies. soy. Surprisingly, children exposed to hamsters (0.9% of the total group studied) were found to have a significantly higher incidence of nut allergies.
Children exposed to dogs living in the home were significantly less likely to experience egg, milk, and nut allergies
Up to one in 10 children is diagnosed with some type of food allergy in certain high-income countries, and the incidence of food allergies continues to rise in children. Previous studies have already suggested a possible link between exposure to domestic or farm animals during pregnancy and early childhood and a decrease in food allergies.
The data used by the authors of this paper were self-reported (supplemented with data from medical records collected during the first trimester of pregnancy, at the time of delivery, and at the baby’s check-up after one month), thus it is based on the memories of the participants. This study also cannot determine whether the link between exposure to pets and the incidence of food allergies is causal, but despite this, the authors believe that their results may lay the foundation for further research on the mechanisms underlying the allergies. childhood food allergies