Early farm life can be an immune booster, study says
BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM ó A recent U.K. study is offering the first hard evidence on a long-held belief in the farming community: farm living has health benefits.
The research out of the University of Bristolís School of Veterinary Sciences shows a connection between the bacteria that influence healthy immune system development and early life on the farm.
Published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, the study compared the immune responses of piglets raised on a farm to piglets in a hygienic environment.
The farm-reared piglets had higher levels of regulatory T-lymphocytes, immune cells which evidence suggests control the immune reactions to harmless antigens that are associated with allergies, and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. When weaned, the farm piglets showed decreased antibody response to new food proteins.