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Pet Ownership Tied to Fewer Allergies and Lower BMI in Children, Study Suggests • Mirror Daily

New Canadian study reveals that early exposure to microbes transmitted through a pet can decrease allergies and prevent obesity in children.

A new and promising Canadian study points out that obesity and allergies can be prevented even before the child is born. The study reveals that unborn children whose mothers are exposed to house pets have lesser chances of coming down with life-threatening diseases such as meningitis and pneumonia.

It’s more than common for couples to give up their cats or dogs before childbirth, in an attempt to create a safe and germ-free environment for the little type. However, according to a new study from Canada’s University of Alberta, having a cat or a dog around a soon-to-be-mother can be beneficial.

Anita Kozyrskyj, an epidemiologist and the senior author of this study, declared that having had a pet or currently owning one can prevent the child from developing certain allergies or become obese. In other words, early exposure to pets can boost up the immune system. How is this possible?

According to Kozyrskyj, while in the mother’s womb, the child is exposed to two types of bacteria, passed down from pets – oscillospira and ruminococcus. Studies have shown that unborn infants belonging to pet-owning families have a higher number of the above-mention bacteria even after three months since the pet was removed.

So, why are these germs so beneficial? The project’s head researcher explained that early exposure to bacteria passed down by house pets can help the child’s body develop a specific type of resistance. Furthermore, the study has revealed that children born to families that own pets have lesser chances of becoming obese and, given their strengthened immune system, are not prone to developing allergies compared to those born and brought up in households without pets.

For the purpose of this study, Kozyrskyj and her team reviewed the data available on approximately 700 children born in Canada. The results also reveal that the benefits of early pet exposure go far beyond child allergies and obesity to predisposition.

Kozyrskyj noted that the resistance developed by the unborn child’s immune system can greatly help them against group B strep, which includes pneumonia, meningitis, and several types of blood infections.

Ending her interview on a humorous note, Kozyrskyj declared that if you’re not into owning a pet, there’s no problem, because the pharmaceutical industry is bound to create some sort of wonder-pill that mimics the process of pet germs exposure. As for the rest, the researcher declared that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to reconsider giving up your pet if you’ve going to have a child.

Image source: Pixabay

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