It is a known medical fact that early exposure to bacteria and other microbes in life can boost the immune system. Also, many allergic reactions are caused by our immune system over-reaction to pathogens. As such, children bought up in sparkling clean environments, especially those staying in metropolis city with their air-conditioner filters and extra hygienic homes may have little exposure to some common microbes early in life, leading to allergic problems later in adulthood.
Now, researcher have found that encouraging children to wash dirty dishes by hand instead of using dish washing machines would actually boost their immune system as well. Dr Bill Hasselmar of Queen Silvia Children Hospital in Gottenberg, Sweden has found in a study that children who help with in-house chores by washing the family dishes actually have less allergic problem such as eczema compared to those that allow the machine to do the job after a meal. More astounding, Dr. Hasselmar also found that the results is even more compounded if the children eat fermented food or food bought directly from the farm.
Over 1,029 children between the age range of 7 – 8 were involved in the study. Allergic reactions resulting into eczema were found in 23% of those that washed dishes with their hands as compared to 38% using machine.
“If you are exposed to microbes, especially early in life, you stimulate the immune system in various ways and it becomes tolerant,” says Dr. Bill Hasselmar.
However the researcher pointed out that the result from this study is not conclusive and there may be other contributory factors explaining why washing with hands contributed less to having allergies.
Families who hand-wash may also have other lifestyle factors that contribute to a lower allergy risk. The researchers note that overcrowded housing, low socioeconomic status and immigration status can also be linked to fewer allergies, as well as possibly different modes of dish washing.
It is known that those living in the cities have more allergic problems compared to those dwelling in the rural areas.