Pediatrics:咬指头竟然可以增加免疫力?
生物通/万纹 · 2016/07/15
在我们小时候,常常父母亲会告诉我们不要吸手指或者咬手指,这会把细菌给吃下去的,但是这些“脏”习惯可能具有意料不到的好处:增加免疫,减少过敏。


在我们小时候,常常父母亲会告诉我们不要吸手指或者咬手指,这会把细菌给吃下去的,但是这些“脏”习惯可能具有意料不到的好处:增加免疫,减少过敏。

近期来自新西兰奥塔哥大学等处的研究人员展开了一项包括1037位儿童的纵向研究,这些儿童出生在新西兰达尼丁,1972至1973年间成年。研究人员发现有吸手指或者咬手指习惯的孩子,在 13 岁时有39%会在一个常见的过敏原测试中出现阳性,而没有这些习惯的孩子,这一比率则为49%,而同时具有两种这样习惯的孩子则风险会降低大31%。这一研究公布在7月11日的 Pediatrics杂志上。

“这些研究发现支持‘卫生假说(hygiene hypothesis)’,也就是说接触细菌能减少儿童过敏的风险,”文章作者,奥塔哥大学呼吸流行病学教授Robert Hancox说。

1989年科学家们首次提出的卫生假说理论,认为孩子在成长早期如果接触多种病毒、细菌和寄生虫,将有利于其免疫系统的发展,似乎这样能促进大脑对其做出更好的防御准备。反之,如果缺乏这类早期接触,免疫系统就可能出现紊乱,做出过激反应,如对食物、花粉和宠物毛屑过敏等,或者引发人体机理问题,出现自身免疫失调。

参与这项研究的儿童的父母报告了是否孩子们在5岁,7岁,9岁和11岁时有吸手指或者咬手指的习惯,然后在13岁和32岁时,参与者就要接受特应性致敏作用 (皮肤点刺)检测。如果在13岁时,他们没有被强迫停止吸手指或者咬手指,并结合家族史、性别、宠物所有和母乳喂养等因素,研究人员发现这并不会影响其患哮喘、花粉等疾病的风险。

“我们当然不是建议吸手指或者咬手指,”Hancox说,“但是如果孩子有这样的习惯,也许很难制止,那么减少他们过敏的危险,也许能带来一些安慰。”

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  • Thumb-Sucking, Nail-Biting, and Atopic Sensitization, Asthma, and Hay Fever

    Abstract BACKGROUND: The hygiene hypothesis suggests that early-life exposure to microbial organisms reduces the risk of developing allergies. Thumb-sucking and nail-biting are common childhood habits that may increase microbial exposures. We tested the hypothesis that children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails have a lower risk of developing atopy, asthma, and hay fever in a population-based birth cohort followed to adulthood. METHODS: Parents reported children’s thumb-sucking and nail-biting habits when their children were ages 5, 7, 9, and 11 years. Atopic sensitization was defined as a positive skin-prick test (≥2-mm weal) to ≥1 common allergen at 13 and 32 years. Associations between thumb-sucking and nail-biting in childhood, and atopic sensitization, asthma, and hay fever at these ages were assessed by using logistic regression with adjustments for sex and other potential confounding factors: parental atopy, breastfeeding, pet ownership, household crowding, socioeconomic status, and parental smoking. RESULTS: Thirty-one percent of children were frequent thumb-suckers or nail-biters at ≥1 of the ages. These children had a lower risk of atopic sensitization at age 13 years (odds ratio 0.67, 95% confidence interval 0.48–0.92, P = .013) and age 32 years (odds ratio 0.61, 95% confidence interval 0.46–0.81, P = .001). These associations persisted when adjusted for multiple confounding factors. Children who had both habits had a lower risk of atopic sensitization than those who had only 1. No associations were found for nail-biting, thumb-sucking, and asthma or hay fever at either age. CONCLUSIONS: Children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails are less likely to have atopic sensitization in childhood and adulthood.

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