When daycare workers in Finland rolled down a lawn, dwarfs grew forest forests such as heather and blueberries, and allowed children to care for crops in a platter box, with a diversity of germs in the guts and a very healthy skin on young children Have you seen. Short space of time.
Compared to other city children, who play in standard urban daydreams with pavement, tile and gravel, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds at these lush green daycare centers in the federation, they have T-Cell and others Showed immunological enhancement. Markers in their blood within 28 days.
“We also found that the intestinal microbiota of greener children was similar to the intestinal microbiota of children visiting the forest every day,” says environmental scientist Marja Rosalund of the University of Helsinki.
Prior research has shown that early exposure to green space is somehow linked to a well-functioning immune system, but it is still unclear whether this relationship is appropriate.
The experiment in Finland is a test for explicitly manipulating a child’s urban environment and then changes to their microbiome, and in turn, a child’s immune system.
While the findings do not provide all the answers, they support a pioneering idea – namely that changes in environmental microbes can relatively easily affect well-established microbiomes in children, helping their immune systems process.
The notion that an environment enriched with living things impacts our immunity is known as the ‘biodiversity hypothesis’. Based on that hypothesis, loss of biodiversity in urban areas may be at least partially responsible for the recent increase in immunological diseases.
“The results of this study support the biodiversity hypothesis and the concept that low biodiversity in modern living environments can give rise to a non-educated immune system and result in increased prevalence of immune-mediated diseases,” the authors write Huh.
The study compared environmental microbes found in 10 different urban day yards caring for a total of 75 children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old.
Some of these diners had standard urban yards with concrete and gravel, others drove the children out for daily nature time, and four updated their yard from under grass and forest.
During the 28-day proceedings, the children of these last four days were given time to play in their new backyard five times a week.
When researchers tested the microbiota of their skin and intestine before and after testing, they got better results than the first group of children who played the day with the same amount of less greenery.
Even in that short period of study, researchers found germs on the skin and intestines of children who regularly play in green spaces, an increase in diversity – a trait that leads to an overall healthy immunity Is attached to the system.
Their results largely corresponded to another group of children who traveled for daily nature time.
Among children who grew out, playing among dirt, grass, and trees, an increase in a microbe called gamprotobacteria enhances skin’s immune defense as well as enhances supportive immune secretion in the blood and increases the content of interleukin Lowers – 17A, which is associated with immune-transmitted diseases.
“This supports the notion that contact with nature prevents disorders in the immune system, such as autoimmune diseases and allergies,” Sinkkonen says.
The results are not conclusive and will need to be verified among large studies worldwide. Nevertheless, the benefits of green spaces go beyond our immune system.
Outside research suggests that it is also good for a child’s vision, and in nature is associated with better mental health as a child. Some recent studies have also shown that green spaces are associated with structural changes in children’s brains.
What drives these incredible results is not yet clear. It can be linked to changes in the immune system, or something can be said about breathing healthy air, sunbathing, exercising more, or greater peace of mind.
Given the complexities of the real world, it is really difficult to control all the environmental factors that affect our health in studies.
While asthma and allergy cases occur less frequently in rural children, the available literature on the link between green spaces and these immune disorders is inconsistent.
Current research has a small sample size, only a correlation has been found, and may not pay attention to what the children were doing outside of daycare hours, but the positive changes seen were something to offer advice to scientists in Finland Are sufficient.
Environmentalist Aki Sinkkonen of the University of Helsinki said, “It would be best if the children could play in the puddle and everyone could dig organic soil.”
“We can take our children out of nature five times a week so that germs are affected.”
Changes are simple, are few, and the potential benefits are wide.
The relationship with nature as a child is also good for the future of our planet’s ecosystem. Studies show that children who spend time outdoors want to become environmentalists as adults, and in a rapidly changing world, this is more important than ever.
Just make sure everyone is dependent on their tetanus vaccination, Sinkkonen advises.
The study was published in Science advance.