Researchers have long observed the so-called "farm effect" -- the very low allergy and asthma rates found among children raised on farms in central Europe.
Dr. Mark Holbreich, an Allergist in Indianiapolis, Indiana noticed after two decades of treating Amish patients, that very few had any allergies. He was curious whether American children raised on small farms would also show the same immunity to allergies and asthma as their European counterparts.
Holbreich teamed up with European colleagues to compare Swiss farming children and non-farming children to Amish kids in Indiana. Their study found that Amish children were even more immune to allergies and asthma than the very immune Swiss children from small farms.
He speculated that it could be at least partly a result of the Amish having larger families or spending even more time outside or in barns than people on more modern working farms. Dr. Holbreich also believes that drinking raw cow's milk also seems to be involved in providing this immunity to children raised on small farms.
It's interesting to note that Amish families typically farm using methods from the 1800s and they don't own cars or televisions. It's also interesting to note that children raised on small farms in general are stronger than their urban counterparts.
It may very well be that the common denominator to have a stronger constitution and immunity from allergies and asthma is living an active life in the fresh air outdoors and eating natural foods like fresh (unpasteurized) milk!<-- back to top