Why a regular visit to a farm is a good thing! –

Scientists from The Ohio State University found that bacteria and other microbes from rural Amish babies was far more diverse – in a beneficial way – than what was found in urban babies’ intestines. And, in a first-of-its-kind experiment, they found evidence of how a healthier gut microbiome might lead to more robust development of the respiratory immune system.

The study was published this month in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.

“Good hygiene is important, but from the perspective of our immune systems, a sanitized environment robs our immune systems of the opportunity to be educated by microbes. Too clean is not necessarily a good thing,” said the study’s co-lead author Zhongtang Yu, a professor of microbiology in Ohio State’s Department of Animal Sciences and a member of the university’s Food Innovation Center.The research team collected fecal samples from 10 Ohio babies who were around 6 months to a year old. The five Amish babies all lived in rural homes with farm animals. The other five babies lived in or near Wooster, a midsize Ohio city, and had no known contact with livestock.

Source: Keeping livestock in the yard just might help your baby’s immune system