Growing up with a dog might protect against Crohn’s disease

A recent study suggests that having a pet dog or a larger family in early life may protect against Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease.

Researchers observed that individuals who owned a dog as a child were less likely in later life to have increased gut permeability, which is an early indicator of Crohn’s disease.

These results may help understand how environmental factors, such as having a pet dog, may influence the risk of Crohn’s disease.

Having a dog as a pet in childhood may be protective against Crohn’s disease, a study suggests. Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Image

Owning a dog or growing up in a large family during childhood could reduce the risk of Crohn’s disease later in life, according to a study presented at the Digestive Disease Week conference in San Diego.

The study also reports that owning a dog and having a larger family size were associated with changes in gut microbiome composition or gut permeability, paving the way to understand how these factors could influence the risk of Crohn’s disease.

The study’s co-author Dr. Williams Turpin, a research associate at Mount Sinai Hospital, told Medical News Today, “[ these results] imply that environmental factors are associated with risk of developing Crohn’s disease, and thus offer novel modifiable targets for studies aiming to reduce the risk of developing Crohn’s disease.”

Source: Medical News Today

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