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Introducing a Dog in the House May Help Reduce Occurrences of Allergies

You’ve probably heard of the Hygiene Hypothesis in which excessive cleanliness can actually make one unhealthy due to interruption in the normal development of the immune system, leading to the development of allergies. A most recent study further supports the idea of Hygiene Hypothesis and we, here at our Utah Valley dermatology practice, are quite interested of such findings.

Protective Microorganisms

The researchers from the University of Michigan in the aforementioned study exposed a group of mice to dust acquired from a dog owner’s home then consequently exposed them to 2 asthma-related allergens. The same set of allergens were given to a group of mice who were not exposed to the dog household dust. The results were quite stunning: the first group of mice showed lesser inflammation in the airways and produced less mucus in their airways than the second group. 

So what’s in the dust that protected the mice from asthma symptoms? It was the bacterial strain  Lactobacillus johnsonii. The abstract of the study further noted:

“These animals exhibit reduced Th2 cytokine production, fewer activated T cells, and a distinct gut microbiome composition, highly enriched for Lactobacillus johnsonii, which itself can confer airway protection when orally supplemented as a single species. This study supports the possibility that host–environment interactions that govern allergic or infectious airway disease may be mediated, at least in part, by the impact of environmental exposures on the gastrointestinal microbiome composition and, by extension, its impact on the host immune response.” 

Thus, it may be possible in the future to create treatments that involve supplementation or manipulation of bacteria in the body.

Allergy Testing in Utah County and Neighboring Areas

Now that we’re still waiting for such breakthroughs in the treatment of allergies and other autoimmune disorders, allergy patch testingmay prove to be useful in avoiding severe allergic reactions which could prove to be fatal.

Our allergy patch testing causes very little to no pain; however, allergen reactions do cause annoying itching red bumps which look and feel like mosquito bites. The itching and bumps are usually gone in just a few short hours. Call us now at 801-768-8800 or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Myers.  We look forward to your visit!