More dirt, please…

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Thanks to “Dr. Steve” for sending me this report wherein more exposure to allergens early in life proved to be paradoxically beneficial.  This finding should interest those parents who strive to retain sterile environments for kids who 40 years ago would happily play in the dirt.  Here is a journal from 2009 showing asthma is less in kids who play outdoors…   the immune system: use it or lose it!


Sleeping on Animal Fur Fights Asthma: Study

Sunday, 07 Sep 2014 09:05 PM


Infants who sleep on animal fur may be less likely to develop asthma later in childhood, new research suggests.

The study included more than 2,400 healthy city-dwelling newborns in Germany who were followed until age 10. Of those children, 55 percent slept on animal skin in their first three months of life.

Compared to other youngsters, those who slept on animal skin in infancy were 79 percent less likely to have asthma at age 6, and 41 percent less likely to have asthma by age 10, the investigators found.

The study was presented Sunday at the European Respiratory Society meeting in Munich. The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“Previous studies have suggested that microbes found in rural settings can protect from asthma. An animal skin might also be a reservoir for various kinds of microbes, following similar mechanisms as has been observed in rural environments,” Christina Tischer, from the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen Research Center in Germany, said in a European Lung Foundation news release.

“Our findings have confirmed that it is crucial to study further the actual microbial environment within the animal fur to confirm these associations,” she added.

While the study found an association between exposure to animal skins and fur during infancy and decreased risk of developing asthma, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Anthroposophic therapy for asthma: A two-year prospective cohort study in routine outpatient settings. 

Harald J Hamre,1 Claudia M Witt,2 Gunver S Kienle,1 Christof Schnürer,3 Anja Glockmann,1 Renatus Ziegler,4 Stefan N Willich,2 and Helmut Kiene1

J Asthma Allergy. 2009; 2: 111-128.    Published online Nov 24, 2009.




Anthroposophic treatment for asthma includes special artistic and physical therapies and special medications.


We studied consecutive outpatients starting anthroposophic treatment for asthma under routine conditions in Germany. Main outcomes were average asthma severity (0-10, primary outcome); symptoms (1-4); and asthma-related quality of life at 12-month follow-up (Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire [AQLQ] overall score, 1-7, for adults; KINDL Questionnaire for Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents, asthma module, 0-100, for children) at 12-month follow-up.


Ninety patients (54 adults, 36 children) were included. Anthroposophic treatment modalities used were medications (88% of patients, n = 79/90); eurythmy therapy (22%); art therapy (10%); and rhythmical massage therapy (1%). Median number of eurythmy/art/massage sessions was 12 (interquartile range 10-20), median therapy duration was 120 days (84-184). From baseline to 12-month follow-up, all outcomes improved significantly (P < 0.001 for all comparisons). Average improvements were: average asthma severity 2.61 points (95% confidence interval CI: 1.90-3.32); cough 0.93 (95% CI: 0.60-1.25); dyspnea 0.92 (95% CI: 0.56-1.28); exertion-induced symptoms 0.95 (95% CI: 0.64-1.25); frequency of asthma attacks 0.78 (95% CI: 0.41-1.14); awakening from asthma 0.90 (95% CI: 0.58-1.21); AQLQ overall score 1.44 (95% CI: 0.97-1.92); and KINDL asthma module 14.74 (95% CI: 9.70-19.78). All improvements were maintained until last follow-up after 24 months.


Patients with asthma under anthroposophic treatment had long-term improvements of symptoms and quality of life.

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