Photo: Filed Microbes on farms helps protect against allergies.
Swiss scientists may have a new explanation for why children who grow up on farms are less at risk of asthma and allergies.

It is well known that the rich diversity of microbes on farms helps protect against allergies.

Now researchers from the University of Zurich have found a type of acid called Neu5Gc is also part of the picture. Humans do not naturally produce this, but it is widespread in farm animals, and can be absorbed by humans by petting animals or eating food of animal origin.

Contact with the acid sets up an anti-inflammatory response in the body, which could help prevent allergies (linked to inflammation).

In tests, mice that ate Neu5Gc molecules had improved lung function. - Daily Mail