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The Dirty Truth About Allergies You Need to Know

More evidence is emerging that the hygiene hypothesis -- a theory that argues reduced exposure to viruses and common bacteria in childhood causes health problems later on in life -- may explain why allergies remain such a persistent problem.

Duke University researchers tested the hypothesis by comparing the immune systems of wild house mice and rats to those raised in a laboratory, focusing on various antibodies associated with allergies.

Surprisingly, rodents living in the wild had one great advantage over lab animals: All produced higher levels of specific immunoglobulins (IgG and IgE) that protect them from allergies and diseases they may encounter outdoors. The same IgG immunoglobulin found in lab animals living in a cleaner environment, however, binds with the body's own cells -- not environmental allergens -- leading to autoimmune diseases and allergies, researchers said.

That's no comfort to most of you who spend as much as 90 percent of your day indoors...

Some 50 million people suffer from allergies in the United States alone. If you are among them, you should seriously consider utilizing what is perhaps the most effective preventive against allergens in your home: A high-quality air purifier. However, be very careful. Most of the models out there, especially the popular ones, don't get the job done properly.

My team and I have analyzed this, and the one home air purifier I now recommend highly is the Way Healthier Air Purifier. I encourage you to read more about it, including why the technology it uses makes it so much more reliable and effective than other types of air purifiers.

Scaninavian Journal of Immunology June 19, 2006

EurekAlert June 16, 2006

New Scientist June 16, 2006