Allergies have been on the rise in the last few decades – not just the highly publicized increase in peanut and gluten allergies, but also allergic asthma caused by allergens in the air (like dust mites, mold, or pollen). Poorly controlled asthma and asthma emergencies result in many ER visits. What is causing this trend of increasing allergies?
The hygiene hypothesis – lack of exposure to potential allergens due to homes that are too clean leads to kids being hypersensitive is popular with many folks.
The bacteria in your gut (known as the microbiota) are the new cool. And, by cool, I mean the bogeyman for everything that is wrong with you. That is not to say they aren’t very, very important; but the science exploring the role of the complex colonies of microbes residing inside your gut and comprising ten times as many cells as in your actual body is still developing and enormously complex.