Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Loss Of Biodiversity May Lead To Increase In Allergies And Asthma

Biodiversity

Biodiversity (Photo credit: Dom Dada)

From the 9 May 2012 article at Medical News Today

Declining biodiversity may be contributing to the rise of asthma, allergies, and other chronic inflammatory diseases among people living in cities worldwide, a Finnish study suggests. Emerging evidence indicates that commensal microbes inhabiting the skin, airway, and gut protect against inflammatory disorders. However, little is known about the environmental determinants of the microbiome.

Ilkka Hanski et al. from the Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, investigated whether reduced human contact with nature and biodiversity influences the composition of commensal skin bacteria and allergen sensitivity in a random sample of 118 teenagers living in eastern Finland. The authors found that subjects living on farms or near forests had more diverse bacteria on their skin and lower allergen sensitivity than individuals living in areas with less environmental biodiversity, such as urban areas or near bodies of water. …

May 9, 2012 - Posted by | environmental health | , , ,

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