‘Hygiene Hypothesis’ Gets a Gut Check

A multi-institutional team that includes researchers from Mass General is investigating the so-called “hygiene hypothesis,” which suggests that early exposure to bacteria and other microbes early in life may help train the immune system to function properly and reduce the likelihood of developing autoimmune diseases and allergies, which have become more prevalent in modernized countries.

A recent study of the gut microbia from infants in three countries appears to support this theory.

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