Are You Obsessed With Hygiene? It Could Increase Your Asthma Risk

NDTV Food  |  Updated: February 20, 2017 15:35 IST

Are You Obsessed With Hygiene? It Could Increase Your Asthma Risk
As kids, we’ve always been taught that personal hygiene and care should never be comprised with but some people take this advice rather too seriously. Hygiene can become a reason for obsessive compulsive disorder or commonly known as OCD for some people. While there’s nothing wrong with being overprotective about oneself, too much of a good thing may not be a good thing after all. If this new study is to be believed, being a cleanliness freak can actually lower the good gut bacteria’s ability to fight infections and diseases and even put you at the risk of developing asthma.

Pollution has almost become a way of life, particularly in India. We are so used to it that we don't think of it as a serious threat to our lives. The capital city New Delhi is considered to be the most polluted city in the world, and the consequences of it are evident with cases of respiratory diseases going up rapidly over the years. It is a serious concern and we need to make a conscious effort to prevent its health risks. Perhaps packing our bags and heading to a hill top may prove to be ideal in such a situation, away from pollution. However, accordingly to a new study, zero pollution and clean water could actually do more harm to your kids. This is because you may deprive them of the good microbes that protect us against various illnesses.

In a shocking revelation, Canadian researchers have found that children with access to clean drinking water may be at an increased risk of developing asthma in childhood than those who do not. They also suggested a link between the risk of asthma and a super clean environment (air).

"Those that had access to good, clean water had much higher asthma rates and we think it is because they were deprived of the beneficial microbes," said Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada. "That was a surprise because we tend to think that clean is good but we realise that we actually need some dirt in the world to help protect you," Finlay added.

(Read: Home Remedies to Treat Asthma)


The Study

The study also showed that while gut bacteria plays a role in preventing asthma, it was the presence of a microscopic fungus or yeast known as Pichia that was more strongly linked to the respiratory condition.

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"Children with Pichia were much more at risk of asthma," Finlay noted, adding "instead of helping to prevent asthma, its presence in those early days puts children at risk."

The researcher said this while presenting the details at the 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston. The study may help in understanding the role of microscopic organisms in our overall health.

CommentsInputs from IANS

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