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Sucking your baby's pacifier might protect them from allergies, study says

Your baby's pacifier falls on the floor. Do not feel too guilty if you chose the latter, because a new…

Your baby’s pacifier falls on the floor.

Do not feel too guilty if you chose the latter, because a new study suggests that a mother’s spit – and the bacteria in it – may help prevent allergies in young children.

The research found lower levels of a troublesome, allergy-causing protein in babies whose mothers reported sucking on their infants’ pacifiers, adding to a growing body of Evidence that early exposure to microbes may prevent allergies in children.

“The idea is that the microbes you are exposed to infancy can affect your immune system’s development later in life,” said Dr. Eliane Abou-Jaoude, an allergy fellow with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. She is presenting her findings this weekend at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting.

Microbial exposure may prevent allergies

Research has shown that people who live near livestock, those who avoid dishwashers and babies born through the microbe-filled vaginal canal – instead of via C-section – are all less likely to develop allergies.

The new study, which has not been reviewed, is “one more piece of data that early exposure to microbes helps prevent allergies, “said Dr. Andrew MacGinnitie, clinical director of the Division of Immunology at Boston Children’s Hospital.

But the study has weaknesses as well, MacGinnitie said. It has a small sample size, making it difficult to draw too many conclusions, and other factors than the Mother’s saliva could have helped develop the children’s immune systems.

“It’s possible that sucking on a pacifier is correlated with other, more important factors that predispose or protect against allergens,” he said, adding that mothers who suck on their children’s pacifiers could also “let their kids play in the dirt, or their whole house could be less clean.”

Uncertainty about causation is why Abou-Jaoude is not recommending that parents start sucking on their children’s pacifiers just yet.

“What is very, very important to realize is that this was not a cause and effect study,” she said. “This is not telling you, if you suck on your child’s pacifier, they will n ot develop allergies. “

For those who choose to do that, though, MacGinnitie does not see too many risks. “If the kid were sick, he or she could transmit an infection to the mom or dad, but if the kid is well, this would seem to be unlikely,” he said.

And even if the pacifier falls on the floor “

A reduction in allergy-linked proteins

To determine allergy risk, researchers looked for a protein linked to allergies. They tracked levels of that protein, the IgE antibody, in 74 infants whose mothers reported using pacifiers. No fathers were included in the research.

Just nine babies had mothers who sucked their children’s binkies clean. Men sammenlignet med de andre børnene, de ni babyer havde signifikant lavere niveauer af IgE-antistof, en tendens der begyndte, da børnene var omkring 10 måneder gamle.

De forskere spores babyerne for kun 18 måneder, hvilket gør det uklart om lavere IgE levels in infancy would translate to fewer allergies later in life.

“Based on these levels, you can not really tell what’s going to happen to these kids in the future,” said Abou-Jaoude. “All is we know is , people with allergies, they usually have higher levels of IgE antibodies.

Our bodies develop antibodies to fight infections, but MacGinnitie said IgE antibodies are often produced in response to harmless substances – which is

“Allergies are an inappropriate response by our immune system to see something that’s innocuous as dangerous,” he said, leading to congestion, hives and other common symptoms.

Reducing your child’s allergy risk

Abou-Jaoude’s team looked at total IgE antibody levels, but researchers can also test for allergen-specific IgE levels, looking at how sensitive a child might be to particular substances, like eggs or dogs.

A 2013 study in sweden did just that. Niet alleen deed onderzoekers dat de baby’s minder waarschijnlijk zouden zijn om IgE-antistoffen tegen algemene allergens te hebben wanneer hun ouders hun pacifiers zuigen, maar ze waren ook minder kans om eczema en astma te ontwikkelen bij de tijd dat ze 18 maanden oud waren.

“If I understand the paper and the figure correctly, [the new study] found lower IgE levels in children whose parents reported sucking on their pacifier, and that finding supports our results, “said Dr. Bill Hesselmar, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Gothenburg, who authored that study.

In both cases, Hesselmar says, sucking on a baby’s pacifier might have transferred “microbes that could stimulate the immune system so that tolerance develops instead of allergy. “

Still, there are more practical – and maybe more pleasant – ways to prevent allergies in children.

Studies have shown that “kids introduced to peanuts in the first year of life have a much lower chance of developing a peanut allergy,” he said, and the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. In 2017, de groep endorsed richtlijnen die aanbevelen dat kinderen met hoge risico’s voor allergieën beginnen met peanuts te eten, zo vroeg als 4 tot 6 maanden van ouder.

Kinderen die bij volwassenen zijn, hebben ook de neiging om een ​​lager allergie risico te hebben, MacGinnitie gezegd, maar That might be explained by genetics. In other words, allergy-free parents who own pets may just give birth to allergy-free kids.

“Living on a small farm also probably helps,” MacGinnitie joked. Men han la til det, for de fleste foreldre, “that’s probably not realistic.”

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