The “farm dust” miracle pill could prevent childhood allergies

The “farm dust” miracle pill could prevent childhood allergies

The “farm dust” miracle pill could prevent childhood allergies

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An international team of scientists is working on a “farm dust” treatment to prevent children from developing allergies as research reveals that the protective benefits of being raised on a farm can last into adulthood.

The study found evidence that children raised on family farms have greater protection in early adulthood from allergic rhinitis, a reaction that can cause runny noses, sneezing and red eyes.

Scientists now believe that the substances found in farmyard dust and the benefits of consuming unprocessed milk may be involved in allergy protection. One theory is that the variety of microorganisms they contain help strengthen the body’s defenses.

An international consortium of researchers is now working on potential treatments from farm dust and unprocessed milk that could combat the reported increasing prevalence of food allergies, with the goal of delivering a product within the next five years.

Erika von Mutius, pediatrician at the Helmholtz Research Center in Munich and at the Dr von Hauner Children’s Hospital of the University of Munich, said the international work involved examining protective extracts of farm dust and studying the beneficial effects on minimally processed milk babies.

He said: “We are on that journey to develop a treatment that best prevents asthma and allergies. There is a lot of promising work and we are slowly getting there. “

The latest developments in the international battle against life-threatening allergic reactions will be explored at a global symposium of allergy experts to be held this week at Dumfries House in Scotland, which is part of the Prince’s Foundation.

The event was organized by the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, set up by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died in July 2016 after suffering an allergic reaction from a baguette containing sesame seeds. Prince Charles will host and participate in the two day event.


The latest research published in June on the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology involved a study of over 1,300 children in Germany that found that the protective effects of allergic reactions associated with life on a farm continued into early adulthood, even though the children had moved elsewhere after the age of six.

The report, of which Von Mutius co-authored, states: “Our findings are in line with the hypothesis that the window of opportunity for allergy prevention due to exposure to environments rich in microbial diversity lies somewhere in the childhood”.

Von Mutius said the goal for many years has been to protect children from potential allergens in the environment. “It’s not just about avoiding anymore,” he said. “Now there is a consensus we need to bring the things we have lost into our lifestyles.”

Research showed that mice exposed to farm dust extract from Germany and Switzerland were fully protected against house dust mite allergy. There have also been several studies linking the consumption of raw or raw milk with protection against allergies. Raw milk can contain harmful bacteria, so the research project focuses on minimally processed farm milk.

The Dutch Lung Foundation, a non-profit organization and one of the largest lung research funders in Europe, is funding an international asthma consortium to study potential treatments to prevent asthma and allergies.

It has set a 2027 target of a “minimally processed” farm milk product to protect children from allergies and asthma and an additional preventive treatment that could be “farm dust”.

Sir Stephen Holgate, professor of immunopharmacology at Southampton University, who leads this week’s symposium, said scientists attending the event will present the emerging evidence on reported increases in allergies, possible reasons and potential interventions.

He said one of the factors that may be involved in the increase in allergies was the narrower range of microorganisms that young children were exposed to.

He said: “By not having an enhanced protective umbrella in the first few months of life, we are depriving our immune systems of the intelligence to be able to suppress allergic pathways.” She said the symposium will discuss research on treatments to protect children from allergies.

Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, Natasha’s father, said: “The idea of ​​bringing together some of the world’s leading allergy and environmental experts in the same room first developed nearly four years ago, right after the death investigation. of our daughter.

“We firmly believe that through scientific research we can shed a bright light on allergy and work to deliver it to history. This week’s symposium can be a significant milestone in helping to map policy interventions and research objectives ”.

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