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Allergies and intolerances

"perhaps you should get a pig". Now I've heard it all!

4 replies

bobbybobbobbingalong · 24/01/2006 03:41

Bob was in NZ Womans Weekly ages ago - we did get a few people call trying to sell us miracle cures, which I was expecting and I dispatched them politely but firmly.

it's been months now, but we had another today, she sounded like a little old lady and her advice was to get a pig!

She lived in the country and she couldn't see why I thought my neighbours might have an issue with a pig in the garden.

As a compromise I promised to ask at the wildlife park if Bob could touch the pigs. I am normally quite impatient at getting advice from people, but this was so strange that I found myself playing along.

I know about the hygiene hypothesis, but this seemed rather more specific.

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tatt · 24/01/2006 06:33

unless the pig gives you a helminth infection (that may protect against allergies) can't see how they would help. But lots of people seem to like scratching pigs backs. And according to this webpage 64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:LB-s89FxAPwJ:www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp%3Farticlekey%3D12321+helminth+brain&hl=en
there are several types of helminth and commonly found in pork meat. Don't know which ones are supposed to help with allergies and I thought they had some drawbacks, like making you thicker? A whole new explanation of why country people are sometimes depicted with straw in the mouth ?

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bobbybobbobbingalong · 24/01/2006 06:43

Think I'll stick to probiotics in that case.

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tatt · 24/01/2006 09:46

been having a look to see if I could find more on the problems with helminth infection/ whether researchers are getting anywhere working out how it affects allergy. Came across something suggesting that its the effect on IL-10 that may be important and that IL-10 levels may be boosted by vitamin D3. (Don't ask me exactly what IL-10 is, still working on understanding that ) I know there are problems with vitamin d in excess but its a good excuse to get out in the sun

The old wife's tale may have some basis in fact since the families that kept pigs (and ate pork meat) would have had a higher chance of helminth infection. I am hoping that one day they will work out a way to get the benefits of helminth infection without any significant downside.

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bobbybobbobbingalong · 24/01/2006 18:45

Live in NZ so no problem finding sun. He is better since he started playing outside more rather than sitting in his buggy being shaded.

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