MONTREAL, April 14 (UPI) — Excessive cleanliness may be to blame for people suffering from allergies, a researcher in Montreal says.
Dr. Guy Delespesse, a professor at the Universite de Montreal and director of the Laboratory for Allergy Research, says allergies can be linked to family history, air pollution, processed foods, stress and tobacco use, but there is an inverse relationship between the level of hygiene and the incidence of allergies and autoimmune diseases.
“The more sterile the environment a child lives in, the higher the risk he or she will develop allergies or an immune problem in their lifetime,” Delespesse says in a statement
Hygiene is necessary and reduces exposure to harmful bacteria, but it may also limit exposure to beneficial microorganisms and the bacterial flora of the digestive system isn’t what it used to be, Delespesse says.
In 1980, 10 percent of the Western population suffered from allergies, but within 30 years that number jumped to 30 percent, Delespesse says.
Delespesse recommends probiotics — found in yogurt — to boost beneficial microorganisms.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.