The new health benefit of growing up next to a dog

The Pets It can have positive effects on physical health: It can lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Research supports this idea. A 2019 analysis of nearly 4 million people in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom found that owning a dog associated with 24% reduction in premature deaths from any cause. The benefit was greater if the person had already had a heart attack or stroke. In these cases, the likelihood of such patients dying from cardiovascular disease is reduced by 31%.

It’s not the only advantages. young children who Raised with a dog or in a large family It may have some protection later in life against the common inflammatory bowel disease known as . Crohn’s diseaseAccording to a study presented in Digestive Diseases Week (DDW).

“Our study appears to add to others who have explored the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ that low exposure to microbes early in life can lead to a lack of immune regulation towards environmental microbes,” explains Williams Turpin, lead author of the study and a research associate at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Dogs or cats?

The researchers used an environmental questionnaire to collect information from about 4,300 first-degree relatives of people with Crohn’s disease enrolled in the project. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Genetic, Environmental, and Microbial (CCC-GEM).

Using survey responses and historical data collected, the team analyzed several environmental factors, such as the size of the family, the presence of dogs or cats as household pets, or the number of people who lived together. The analysis also included age at the time of exposure.

The study found that exposure to dogs in particular Between the ages of 5 to 15 yearsIt has been linked to healthy gut permeability and the balance between the gut microbiome and the body’s immune response, something that may help protect against Crohn’s disease. Similar effects were observed when exposed to dogs in all age groups. The results haven’t been seen with cats, but the researchers couldn’t figure out why.

“It’s likely because dog owners go out with their pets more often or live in areas with more green space, which has previously been shown to protect against Crohn’s disease.”

Advantages of a large family

Another protective factor appears to be living with three or more family members during the first year of life, which has been associated with Microbiome composition later in life.

The findings are particularly important, because the gut microbiome is thought to play a role in a number of health conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

The researchers hope their findings will help doctors ask patients detailed questions Determine who is most at risk. However, they urge caution in interpreting the results, because environmental factors were assessed early in life using questionnaires, indicating a potential recall bias at recruitment. Therefore, the reasons why dog ​​ownership and large families provide protection against Crohn’s disease remain unclear.

This information does not in any way replace a doctor’s diagnosis or prescription. It is important to go to a specialist when symptoms appear in a diseased state and never self-medicate.

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