A study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) indicates that rural environment is quite beneficial for upbringing of the children.
Children who grow up in rural area, surrounded by animals and bacteria-laden dust are more stress-resilient as adults due to strong immune systems.
There are also indications of the lower risk of mental illness in such areas than the cities.
The study supports the evidence of the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ which states: ‘a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents, symbiotic microorganisms (such as the gut flora or probiotics), and parasites increases susceptibility to allergic diseases by suppressing the natural development of the immune system.’
This study was co-authored by researchers from the University of Ulm in Germany and CU Boulde, which states that extremely clean environments can create several health problems.
It is also suggested that there are mental health benefits for the children that are raised around pets.
‘It has already been very well documented that exposure to pets and rural environments during development is beneficial in terms of reducing risk of asthma and allergies later in life,’ said co-author Christopher Lowry, a professor of integrative physiology at CU Boulder. ‘This study moves the conversation forward by showing for the first time in humans that these same exposures are likely to be important for mental health.’
The study was carried out on 40 men between the age group of 20-40, with the equal proportion of men brought up in urban and rural areas.
‘People who grew up in an urban environment had a much-exaggerated induction of the inflammatory immune response to the stressor, and it persisted throughout the two-hour period,’ said co-author Christopher Lowry.
More than half of the world’s population is settled in the urban area, it is suggested that high nutrition food must added to every day diet.
But according to the researchers a lot of further research still needs to be done.