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Educating the immune system

Graham Rook
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 6 Number 4: Page 54 (August 1999)

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Abstract: The immune system has been programmed by its evolutionary history to anticipat an input of soil and water bacteria, which are regarded by the immune syste as a permanent part of the environment. Modern food hygiene, excessive washing, vaccinations, antibiotics, and life on concrete may thus deprive the immune system of essential input. Together with animal and clinical trial data showing efficacy of bacterial products in down-regulation allergic symptoms and auto-immunity, these ideas suggest that deprivation of bacterial input to the immune system could be a crucial factor behind the dramatic changes in desease patterns being seen in the developed world.

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