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Research: Pets can make infants & unborn babies healthier
Are you worried as a parent as to what you should gift your baby?

Researchers might have an answer. A recent study has suggested that a pet early in life may alter gut bacteria in immune-boosting ways.

The research carried out by researchers at the University of Alberta shows that babies from families with pets displayed higher levels of two types of microbes that are associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity.

"There's definitely a critical window of time when gut immunity and microbes co-develop, and when disruptions to the process result in changes to gut immunity," said paediatric epidemiologist Anita Kozyrskyj.

Kozyrskyj who led the team of researchers have discovered that show children who grow up with dogs as pets have lower rates of asthma.

This, according to the researchers is explained by the fact that exposure to dirt and bacteria early in life can develop immunity in the child at an early stage.

"The abundance of these two bacteria were increased twofold when there was a pet in the house," said Kozyrskyj and also added that the pet exposure was shown to affect the gut micro-biome indirectly that is, a transfer of the microbe from dog to mother and from her to the unborn baby. This would happen during the pregnancy stages as well as during the first three months of the baby's life.

"There is definitely a critical window of time when gut immunity and microbe co-develop, and when disruptions to the process result in changes to gut immunity," the researchers have said in the study that has been published in the journal Micro-biome.

"It's not far-fetched that the pharmaceutical industry will try to create a supplement of these micro-biomes, much like was done with probiotics," she said.

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