Allergic and autoimmune diseases are far less common in communities with less hygiene, and autoimmune disorders increase in children who migrate from areas with less emphasis on hygiene
by Paul Alexander
Hygiene hypothesis...I wrote on this prior and share this key paper...in short, the more sterile our environments, we are destroying immune systems especially to our children...
According to the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, the decreasing incidence of infections in western countries and more recently in developing countries is at the origin of the increasing incidence of both autoimmune and allergic diseases. The hygiene hypothesis is based upon epidemiological data, particularly migration studies, showing that subjects migrating from a low-incidence to a high-incidence country acquire the immune disorders with a high incidence at the first generation. However, these data and others showing a correlation between high disease incidence and high socio-economic level do not prove a causal link between infections and immune disorders. Proof of principle of the hygiene hypothesis is brought by animal models and to a lesser degree by intervention trials in humans. Underlying mechanisms are multiple and complex. They include decreased consumption of homeostatic factors and immunoregulation, involving various regulatory T cell subsets and Toll-like receptor stimulation. These mechanisms could originate, to some extent, from changes in microbiota caused by changes in lifestyle, particularly in inflammatory bowel diseases. Taken together, these data open new therapeutic perspectives in the prevention of autoimmune and allergic diseases.
The ‘hygiene hypothesis’ for autoimmune and allergic diseases: an update - Okada - 2010 - Clinical & Experimental Immunology - Wiley Online Library