Anyone who has grown up on a farm will likely tell you that they wouldn’t have traded their upbringing in the country for anything in the world. As it turns, out those same people might actually be healthier than city kids, too. It’s been proven that children who grow up on a farm have far fewer complications from asthma and other allergies than those children that grow up in a city.
As it turns out, this phenomenon is popular enough that some series studies have been conducted. Most recently, a study was done comparing the children in two farming communities in North Dakota. One community is Amish and the other is made up of Hutterites. The methods used for farming and the environment of both communities are very similar, save for one major exception.
The Amish have nothing to do with electricity while the Hutterites welcome the technology.
The results of the study were very interesting, say the least. It seems that the children in the Hutterite community suffered more allergic reactions than the children in the Amish community. It was determined that exposure to electricity greatly changes the microbes that children encounter. As a result, both groups of children saw vastly different cells within their immune systems.
Other studies were conducted on the digestive systems of farm kids vs. city kids. It was found that kids who grow up in the country have more healthy bacteria in their guts than city kids. Those healthier microbes in the gut could actually help boost respiratory immune system health.
The question of why farm life reduces asthma and allergic reactions needed a bit more clarity, so two Belgian universities conducted some tests that specifically looked at the dust on farms. As it turns out, most farm dust contains bacteria that help the immune system minimize the body’s reaction to allergens. The bottom line is that kids who grow up on farms are much less likely to suffer from asthma than kids who grow up in the city.
The good news is that you don’t have to sell your city condo and buy a farm to improve your health. Scientists are using all of the information gathered in these studies to develop vaccines and treatment plans for asthma and allergies.