What Is the Hygiene Hypothesis?

March 17, 2016
The hygiene hypothesis says a child\'s environment can be
The hygiene hypothesis says a child's environment can be "too clean," and the lack of exposure to germs does not give the immune system a chance to develop resistance to diseases. Credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki via Shutterstock

Many parents believe that their children must be kept in an environment that is as clean as possible, but some research suggests that being exposed to what many would call unclean conditions is good for a child's immune system. Research has indicated that children who are kept in very clean environments have a higher rate of hay fever, asthma and a wide range of other conditions. This is what is called the hygiene hypothesis.

"I believe that there is a role in the development of a child's immunity exposure to various germs and a vast microbiome diversity," said Dr. Niket Sonpal, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Harlem Campus.

Source: Live Science