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Having Pets Lowers Risk Developing Allergies Later In Life, Prevent Obesity In Children [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 10, 2017 11:41 AM EDT

A Canadian study has released its results that link pets to lowering the risk of developing allergies later in life and helping prevent obesity in children.

The study from the University of Alberta has found that the members of families who have pets have a higher than normal concentration of two beneficial bacteria Ruminococcus and Oscillospira in the body. Ruminococcus has been linked to reducing the likelihood of developing allergies later in life while the above normal levels of Oscillospira in the gut is thought to prevent obesity in children and adults, Science Daily reported.

Anita Kozsyrskyj cautions the public that though pets are beneficial to gut health, there is a critical time frame where the gut immunity and these microbes co-develop. The study took stool samples of 746 babies where half of them had been exposed to a pet, while in the womb until after they were born or just after they were born. Compared to the samples from babies who did not have any pets at all in that time frame, the levels of the two bacteria were two times higher, Science Alert reported.

Exposure to probiotics early in life is believed to help lessen the likelihood of developing allergies later in life or even prevent asthma. There have also been studies that have concluded that there is a link between obesity and children who were born via caesarian section. They believe that exposure during natural birth to vaginal and gastrointestinal bacteria can help prevent obesity in children in the future.

The research team hopes to discover more benefits of owning a pet besides the positive effects on the social development of autistic children and the general well-being of a person's mental health. They are also looking into ways of delivering the benefits of these microbes as a supplement, much like what the Japanese did with Lactobacillus and Yakult.

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