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Can Puppies Protect Babies From Allergies and Obesity?

Exposing babies to puppies and other furry pets might help them accumulate two types of bacteria in their gut that are associated with a lower risk of allergies and obesity, a Canadian study suggests.

When researchers analyzed fecal samples from 746 babies, they found having dogs and cats in the home during pregnancy and early infancy was associated with higher levels of two gut microbes: Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, which have been linked with lower odds of allergies and obesity, respectively.

“The concept of a `dog intervention’ during pregnancy as a preventive measure for allergies and obesity is not too far-fetched but definitive studies are required to provide evidence for this health benefit,” said senior study author Anita Kozyrskyj, a pediatrics researcher at the University of Alberta.

While the study doesn’t prove pets directly prevent allergies or obesity or demonstrate how cats and dogs cause changes in gut bacteria, it’s possible that pet exposure during pregnancy may influence the composition of gut microbes in the infant by affecting the mother’s vaginal or skin microbes, Kozyrskyj said by email.

Changes in the mother’s microbes might be passed on during birth, even with a surgical delivery, Kozyrskyj added. After that, pets might directly transfer beneficial microbes when they touch babies, and infants may also pick up pet microbes that are left on household surfaces or in dust.

About 45 percent of the households in the study didn’t have any pets, and another 8 percent only had animals during pregnancy, researchers report in the journal Microbiome.

Among the homes with pets both during pregnancy and afterwards, 44 percent had only dogs, 34 percent had just cats and 20 percent had at least one of each.

Regardless of the way babies were delivered, they were more than twice as likely to have high levels of Ruminococcus and Oscillospira when they were exposed to furry creatures while in the womb or during infancy.

Among vaginally delivered babies whose mothers got antibiotics to prevent group B Streptococcus transmission during birth, infants exposed to pets in utero or after delivery had lower levels of Streptococcaceae bacteria in their feces. This family of bacteria can cause pneumonia in infants.

Pet exposure was also linked to lower fecal levels of Enterobacteria even among babies born by emergency cesarean who normally have high levels of these microbes at three months of age. These bacteria are associated with Salmonella and other infections.

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The study isn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove that pets prevent diseases, the authors note.

Still, the findings add to growing evidence linking exposure to household pets and farm animals with a lower risk of health problems like asthma and allergies, said Tove Fall, a researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden who wasn’t involved in the study.

“This study shows that some bacteria are more common in the gut flora of children born in homes with pets – these findings need to be replicated in other studies,” Fall said by email. “It is not known how these bacteria affect the child health, but in general a higher diversity and richness of the gut flora is thought to help to protect the child from diseases linked to the immune system.”

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The information herein on "Can Puppies Protect Babies From Allergies and Obesity?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

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We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Can Puppies Protect Babies From Allergies and Obesity?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

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