Growing research is starting to show that kids exposed to a variety of germs early on in life are less likely to develop allergies, asthma or autoimmune disorders as they grow older.
A study published in the Journal Science demonstrates that exposure to microorganisms at an early age is associated with protection from immune-mediated diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and asthma. The reason behind this is that when these germs enter the gut they are actually helping to keep a rare part of the immune system restrained in a way. When there are no microbes present, the immune cells run wild in the lungs and intestines, increasing the risk of asthma and colitis. Add in the microorganisms, and the immune cells in question, invariant natural killer T cells, are diverted.
In other words, introducing these common germs to our immune system keeps it working properly and busy and doesn’t allow it to overreact when it encounters similar or worse microbes later on in life. Our bodies are constantly exposed to these microorganisms and when we are young it is actually encouraged in a way. This exposure is how our immune systems learn and grow strong. This is why babies are always putting stuff in their mouths, it is a way to expose their bodies to different microbes, and their bodies are learning how to deal with these different things.
Antibiotics can also be a contributing factor when it comes to immune based problems. Evidence has shown that children who are given antibiotics early in life are more likely to have asthma and food allergies. There’s even some evidence that women might have more autoimmune diseases than men due to the fact that they are typically kept cleaner than boys as children.
Helping build your child’s immune system naturally is the same as what we would recommend for adults. This includes a proper diet, meaning eating simply and nutritiously (avoiding sugar), getting plenty of rest, taking the right whole food supplements, and getting adjusted.
Immune System and Chiropractic
Regular chiropractic care for your child can help ensure that their spine and nervous system are developing and functioning normally. You have to remember, every aspect of our body is controlled by the brain and nervous system, including how our immune system functions. Research has shown that chiropractic care boosts the immune system.
Some things to consider:
- Spinal lesions, similar to vertebral subluxation complexes caused by misalignments, are associated with exaggerated sympathetic activity, which releases immune regulatory cells into the blood circulation and alters immune function. The nervous system has a direct effect on the immune system due to the nerve supply to the important immune system organs.
- White blood cells, which eat and destroy bad cells, are enhanced through chiropractic care.
- HIV positive patients adjusted over a 6-month period showed a 48% increase in CD4 cells, an important immune system component.
- The chief of cancer prevention at New York’s Preventative Medicine Institute found that people who received regular chiropractic care over a five-year period had a 200% greater immune competence than those who had not received chiropractic care. The chiropractic group showed a 400% greater immune competence than people with cancer and other serious diseases.
We should take well-rounded approach to our children’s health including chiropractic care, good nutrition and reducing stress. And it’s ok if they play in the dirt and get a little messy every once in a while, it may just help them stay healthy later in life.