Click to listen to the audio…
A simple lifestyle strategy to decrease allergy risk
Allergies…… they’re on the rise.
A genetic predisposition, could mean your family is at risk.
You don’t want to have to have to deal, with a little one or two, allergic to this, that or the other.
Since you can’t send in for a different set of genes, knowing which lifestyle factors protect and which ratchet up the risk, is helpful.
In search of allergy instigators
Motivated to help Moms & Dads, make lifestyle choices, a team of Swedish researchers decided to look at what families living in two “towns” in Sweden, could teach others, about avoiding allergies.
To kick off their investigation, they tracked down, all the families with kids between the ages of 7-8 years old, living in Kiruna and Mölndal.
Each family was approached and asked to fill out a questionnaire……….
Was their little one allergic ?
What was life like, in their household ?
i.e. what did they eat, who all was living in the house etc.
1838 questionnaires were distributed, 1029 were returned and analysed.
For the record…………
A child was considered “allergic” if they suffered from
- Rhinoconjuctivitis e. red eyes and a runny nose, unrelated to a bout of “flu”
Quite a few kids were allergic……
The allergy patterns
Armed with this information, the team tried to see, if there were any differences between allergic versus non-allergic families.
To do this, they used fancy statistical analysis, to look for patterns.
Here is the PCA loading plot, they generated. It shows how the variables are related.
Eish ! It is rather complicated….
Variables located close together, in the same quadrant are positively correlated. Variables located in diagonally opposed quadrants, are negatively correlated.
Here is the allergy variable, in the right upper quadrant. The handdish stands out as being negatively correlated !
Handdish, what was that all about ?
The handdish connection
One of the questions the team has asked participants, was how they typically washed their dishes.
The team found….
When a family washed the dishes BY HAND, there was a lot less allergy.
The difference was significant i.e. it’s a real difference, not something that happened by chance. To put some numbers on it. When they looked at eczema, the incidence of allergy in hand dishwashing families was 23 %, but it jumped to 38 % in families using a dishwashing machine.
Hand dishwashing so old fashioned
Now washing dishes by hand is not very fashionable in Sweden……..only 12 % of the families were doing it.
And you would be forgiven for thinking – what is wrong with these people ? Who in their right mind, washes dishes by hand ?
It is a problem…………………
The researchers concede, hand dishwashing families might be different in other ways, ways that the survey was not able to “see”. Although they did do their best to eliminate this potential “problem”.
But, it is what it is…………
Handwashing dishes, seems to protect little ones from becoming allergic.
It is actually not all that unexpected.
Now, there is no single cause or simple explanation for “being allergic”, but what is universally agreed upon, is that being “exposed” to bugs, specifically early on in life, does seem to be protective.
It’s thought, bored immune systems get up to mischief.
And handwashed dishes are “dirtier”
How clean is that dish ?
Don’t panic. They’re not so full of germs, that they are a potential health risk, but, they’re not quite as germ free as a dish that has spent time in a dishwasher.
You see, getting a dish clean depends on a couple of factors……….
- How long the dish is cleaned for
- How hot the water is
- And the quality / type of detergent used
A dish in a dishwasher, gets all three at optimal levels.
A dish in the sink……….
Not always !
Dishing it out
Probably the biggest sticking point, is the temperature.
HOT WATER, burns bugs and HANDS.
Donning a pair of rubber gloves allows for hotter water and less wrinklies…..thank goodness !
But a hand washed dish, is unlikely to be sterile……. it’s never exposed to high enough temperatures.
Who is who in your gut zoo, matters – a decrease in bacterial diversity is associated with health troubles. Now, there lots of strategies that can be used to cultivate your microflora, some more do-able than others.
Washing your dishes the old fashioned way.
It’s a lifestyle choice that can be applied by most people……….and it might just help create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY and BETTER HEALTH.
Rub a dub dub – your kid is SPARKLING CLEAN. Too clean ? Maybe. The SPARKLING CLEAN kids are full of cleaning chemicals and allergies.
Parents who clean their child’s dummy by sucking it, are three times less likely to suffer from eczema. It’s a germ thing…..
Scientists believe the magic happened because, in the moonlight the spoon took on a different colour, making it more attractive.