Plodding through muddy ditches and trudging regularly along forest trails may decrease one’s risk of developing allergies, as certain soil and plant bacteria can enhance the immune system when living on the skin, says the Finnish study.
Ilkka Hanski from the University of Helsinki and Tari Haahtela from the HUCH Skin and Allergy Hospital and their team studied how infrequent contact with nature rich in biodiversity affects the variety of beneficial bacteria thriving on the skin and humans’ sensitivity to allergens. The results indicate that diverse activities involving soil and plants decrease the risk of developing allergies.
“Young people living in an area with plenty of forests and farmland had more diverse bacteria on their skin than those living in a built-up environment and near waterways. Young people living in the countryside were also less sensitive to allergens,” Hanski concludes.
The news article from University of Helsinki:
Let’s play dirty – broad contact with nature may prevent allergies
Link to the original study:
Environmental biodiversity, human microbiota, and allergy are interrelated