“If we are exposed early in life to germs then we train our immune system to be stronger. By over cleaning we’ve caused our immune system to be weakened, therefore our body does not recognize foreign threats, such as certain foods. Hence, we’ve impaired our immune system and weakened it so it sees food and germs as threats or attacks on the body ??? ”
That was a paragraph that caught my attention from an old post of Lara Holland on her foodallergygal blog. It caught my attention because I am writing this article from a foreign country(Chile) where I have just finished a bout of food poisoning after eating some bad chicken. Oddly enough, or maybe not following this theory, my Chilean friend who ate the same chicken as me, had very mild symptoms as compared to mine. In fact, whereas I was bedridden for two days of nausea, irregular bowel movements and fevers with my only nourishments being soda crackers and ginger ale, she simple had a few hours of mild nausea and was back to regular dieting, bowel movements etc. How can this be? How unfair? But then I realized, this all has to do with the bacteria we are exposed to as a culture. Whereas I have grown up in a much more sterile environment, eating animals that have been fed antibiotics, my threshold for foreign bacteria is much lower than hers. I.E. her immunity is BETTER than mine.
This really makes perfect sense to me now, and it should be a wake up call for parents of infants and young kids. GIVE your kids exposure to lots of different foods and this may help them from developing a serious allergy down the line. The same principle applies outside of just food and allergies. LET your kids be exposed to dirty places, they might get sick for a few days. In the long run, you are doing their immune systems and their health a huge favor. Over protecting your child, isolating them in sterile environments is exactly opposite of what you want to do to prepare your child for a bacteria filled, protein source filled world where under exposure may be the deadliest threat. A bit counter intuitive huh? As are so many things in this world.
Be sure to read the full article on theories of food allergies here at: http://www.foodallergygal.com/2013/03/gmo-food-allergies.html