A new study suggests that a mother's saliva may contain bacteria that prepare the child's immune system to defend against future illnesses
November 19, 2018, 18h40
Some parents have the habit of using their own mouths to clean it pudding baby, and then return it to the child. It's also common for them to do it during play, when the baby offers pudding, so parents put it in the mouth. Although many people believe that this habit is unhygienic, a new study has been presented during the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, suggests that practice can help prevent allergies children, because the saliva of adults can expose them immune system the child bacteria and prepare them to combat future diseases.
"We know that exposure to certain microorganisms at the beginning of life stimulates the development of the immune system and can later protect them against allergic diseases," said Elian Abu-Joude, lead author of the study.
The team came to this conclusion after interviewing 128 mothers over the course of 18 months about the habits of using pacifists by children and hygiene by parents. The answers showed that 58% of babies use pudding. Of this group, 41% reported cleaning with sterilization (for example, hot water), 72% said they was washed with tap water, and 12% preferred to put it in the mouth before returning it to the baby.
To determine the risk of an allergy, the researchers followed it immunoglobulin E. – type of antibodies related to allergic reactions in the body – in all children who used the cemetery. However, only infants who came in contact with their mother's saliva through the hermit showed a significantly lower IgE level than 10 years of age.
A Swedish study in 2013 presented similar conclusions: it is less likely that babies whose parents had put puddings in the mouth before returning them to the child, had smaller IgE antibodies. Also, they were less likely to develop eczema (skin inflammation) and asthma at 18 months. This is because the powder is transmitted microbes which can stimulate the immune system, so that the child develops tolerance to certain substances.
Andrew McGinnitty of the Boston Children's Hospital in the United States said IgE antibodies are often produced in response to harmless substances that generally do not harm health. "Allergies are an inadequate response to the immune system that characterizes something harmlessly as dangerous," he said in an interview with the US network CNN.
However, as the follow-up of the new study lasted only 18 months, it was not possible to determine whether the lower level of IgE in children's bodies could actually indicate greater protection against allergies in the future. Self-determination and a small number of participants increase the need for further studies to determine the correlation between the saliva of the mother (no father participated in the study) and IgE levels in children.
Second MacGinnitie, the discovery found in the new study can be explained by other factors that were not taken into account during interviews, such as the frequency with children playing on the floor or how many times a week the place of residence is cleared. These factors are capable of increasing microbiological exposure, which contributes to the strengthening of the immune system.
In addition, previous studies have shown that individuals who live or grow in rural areas or near farms are less likely to develop allergies. The same goes for people who put aside the dishwasher and wash the dishes in a traditional way. In the case of infants, the first beneficial bacterial contact occurs at birth – for those born of natural birth.
Another aspect raised by the expert is that there is not much danger of washing the potion if it falls to the ground because the bacteria and viruses found there do not usually cause disease. It is worth mentioning that if the pot is dirty or plunged into something dirty, the recommendation is to wash it (then you can put it in your mouth and return it to the baby).
For MacGinnitie, there are more practical ways (and less disgusting, in the opinion of many people) to prevent allergy in children, such as early exposure to some foods. Previous studies have shown that babies who have had peanuts added to their meals in the first year of life had a lower risk of developing an allergy to this food. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children at high risk of allergy start eating peanuts (or any possible food that can cause allergic reactions) by four months of age.
Another option is to allow babies to grow up with the presence of pets (although animal allergy may have a genetic link). Farm life or close contact with the rural environment also generates good results in reducing allergy risks in the future.