The Secret To Asthma: The Amish?

The Amish way of life may seem strange to those accustomed to 21st century living, but researchers actually think that the Amish may be on to something, at least when it comes to combating asthma. After a comprehensive study of different biological samples from Amish children, researchers have found that they have an innate immunological resistance to the allergic reactions that can trigger asthma outbreaks.

While most people are already aware that exposure to certain bacteria can help build up the immune system’s strength, it seems now that a similar concept applies to living on a farm. By being constantly exposed to farm animals, people are exposed to bacteria that they otherwise would not be, helping to keep them healthy when exposed to an actual disease.

For reference, the Center for Disease Control estimates that asthma is half as prevalent in Amish children than in the rest of the United States. As a part of the experiment, researchers compared the genetic and dust samples from Amish children with those of their Hutterite counterparts. After finding a much higher prevalence of asthma in the Hutterite children, researchers concluded that the farming life of the Amish must be affecting their resistance to asthma.

Obviously, people can’t be forced into an agrarian lifestyle, but researchers are hoping to now incorporate their findings into future vaccinations that may help children fight asthma more effectively. More work may still be needed to be done, but at least researchers have a solid foundation to build off of, thanks to the Amish.

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