Friday, May 11, 2012

Amish farm children remarkably immune to asthma, allergies and more

I am back again....... frightening, I know.
Be sure to take the time over the weekend to catch the little video in the previous post-
There was some news this week about Amish children being remarkably immune to the very disorders that affect the rest of the population- Interesting for what the originating article said and for what it didn't say.

“Amish children raised on rural farms in northern Indiana suffer from asthma and allergies less often even than Swiss farm kids, a group known to be relatively free from allergies, according to a new study.

"The rates are very, very low," said Dr. Mark Holbreich, the study's lead author. "So there's something that we feel is even more protective in the Amish" than in European farming communities.

What it is about growing up on farms -- and Amish farms in particular -- that seems to prevent allergies remains unclear.

Researchers have long observed the so-called "farm effect" -- the low allergy and asthma rates found among kids raised on farms -- in central Europe, but less is known about the influence of growing up on North American farms.

Holbreich, an allergist in Indianapolis, has been treating Amish communities in Indiana for two decades, but he noticed that very few Amish actually had any allergies.
The researchers surveyed 157 Amish families, about 3,000 Swiss farming families, and close to 11,000 Swiss families who did not live on a farm -- all with children between the ages of six and 12.

They found that just five percent of Amish kids had been diagnosed with asthma, compared to 6.8 percent of Swiss farm kids and 11.2 percent of the other Swiss children.

Similarly, among 138 Amish kids given a skin-prick test to determine whether they were predisposed to having allergies, only 10 kids -- or seven percent -- had a positive response.

In comparison, 25 percent of the farm-raised Swiss kids and 44 percent of the other Swiss children had a positive test, the researchers report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Drinking raw cow's milk also seems to be involved, Holbreich said.

The going theory is this early exposure to the diverse potential allergens and pathogens on a farm trains the immune system to recognize them, but not overreact to the harmless ones.

As for why the Amish kids have even lower allergy and asthma rates than the other farming kids, "that piece of the puzzle we really haven't explained," Holbreich told Reuters Health.”

Recall I mentioned what made this story interesting the mentions and the non-mentions?

Genes got mentioned- As if the Amish have some sort of mystical genetics.
They don't. When the concept of 'good genes' as opposed to 'bad genes' is put forward, what never gets mentioned  is how very responsible human exposure to pollutants, antibiotics, radiations etc is  for altering genes.
Sometimes referred to as flipping switches in genes from benign to dangerous

Discovering How Environmental Exposures Alter Genes Could Lead To New Treatments For Chronic Illnesses

“Emerging research demonstrates that diet, pollution, and other environmental triggers can alter both the function and expression of human genes and lead to a heightened disease risk. These environment-gene interactions can cause so-called epigenetic changes in gene expression—patterns of which genes are switched “on” or “off”—that may account for the rising mortality from chronic diseases in industrialized nations.”

Environmental exposures altering Genes. No mystical gene superiority.
Perhaps, just plain old clean living. Clean food, not factory farmed. Clean air, not polluted city air. Cleaner water. Unpasteurized raw milk. A more symbiotic relationship with their environment.

Lets look at the unpasteurized raw milk consumption-

That mention is very interesting because promoters of the right to raw milk have often cited the very beneficial health benefits from drinking raw milk

Kids who drink raw milk have less asthma, allergies
 This article contains the corporate spin about dangerous bacteria.......
If that was the case, how come we don't have Amish children dropping dead? Instead we are looking at very healthy kids

Children who drink raw milk are less likely to develop asthma and allergies than those who stick to the ‘safer pasteurized’(??? )version, according to a large European study.
Researchers believe certain milk proteins that are destroyed by heat could be helpful to children's developing immune systems.
"On the one side it is protective for the development of asthma and allergies but on the other side it may imply serious health risks due to harmful microorganisms."

As mentioned healthier Amish children don't appear to have suffered serious "health risks" due to their raw milk consumption. Hence milk industry/factory farm/corporate spin.

From the same article

In the U.S., more than seven percent of adults and even more kids have asthma, causing millions of visits to emergency rooms and doctors' offices every year.

Millions of emergency room visits every year? How many deaths? How many emergency room visits, drugs and inhalers and deaths could be prevented with access to raw milk for those who wish to drink raw milk?

How prevalent is antibiotic usage amongst the Amish?
There have been connections made between antibiotics triggering asthma-
Do the Amish people fill their children with antibiotics? Likely not, since they seem generally healthier.

Vaccines? Could vaccines play a role in asthma, allergies besides a suspected role in autism?
Speaking of autism. The Amish have very low rates of autism.
The Amish and rates of autism

It is unanimous, apparently -- the rate of autism among the Amish is low. Really, really low. So low that if it were the same in the rest of the population, we wouldn't even be talking about the subject. Shockingly low.

But not so shocking that anyone feels compelled to follow up on the information or its logical implications -- not four years ago when I first pointed it out, not today when the clues it contains are more intriguing than ever -- in fact, never, never, never.

In April 2005 I wrote a UPI column called The Amish Anomaly that began this way: "Where are the autistic Amish? Here in Lancaster County, heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, there should be well over 100 with some form of the disorder. I have come here to find them, but so far my mission has failed ..."

What is their level of exposure to other environmental pollutants that may be causing other human genes to flip switches and increase disease?

How about exposure to electromagnetic radiation.?
Most doctors shy away from those questions, instead preferring to focus on genetics and the push by pharmaceuticals to make designer drugs for specific genes. As part and parcel of the corporate profit making agenda as opposed to legitimate health promotion.


  1. The Amish children also don't get vaccinations and consequently aren't as exposed as is the general population is to the numerous antigens in the vaccines which promote allergic response, or which compromise and dysregulate immunity, resulting in further insult in the form of allergic response. Also, because of the absence of vaccination, the Amish are virtually free of autism- now in 2% of American male children primarily because of the out of control vaccination schedule.

    See, for example,

  2. By coincidence today I came across this excerpt- German Babies and Reparation, linking milk shortage with a rapid rise of TB in Germany suffering under the Treaty of Versailles.

    "...enforcing the provision in the peace treaty that Germany shall cede 140,000 milch cows and 10,000 goats. The memorial states that there is reliable evidence of terrible suffering among German children due to deficiency in the milk supply. The increase of tuberculosis has been immense, and in combating it, milk is a prime necessity..."

    In those days milk was likely unpasteurised. When I was a nipper at school each day we were given a free 1/2 pint of milk. It was pasteurised but in those days it only lasted 2 days in the fridge unlike the 3 weeks that pasteurised milk now lasts. Hmm.

  3. I've long known this about the Amish Pen - when I years ago did the research before embarking on my quest for raw milk (unpasteurised milk). I have been getting raw milk for my kids and my family for years now, and they little ones are healthy as horses.

    IT's definitely the vaccines as well - but from the very smart ones who have delved much further into it (Jennifer Lake's blog is a good one for it), it seems to be more of a long term effect thing, and it gets highly effective when coming into contact with certain other chemicals. It's because of this latent chemical effect that only becomes "activated" later, that it's SO hard to afterward trace the root cause. It is deviously sneaky.

    And I would add . . . very close behind those two, it's unprocessed, naturally grown foods. No MSG, no preservatives, no refined sugars, no red dye, no obscure chemical agents floating around. It's food from the garden and the fields, period.

    And think . . . that is a record of great health that has to fight the negative effect (true story) of the slight problem of a bit of inbreeding that goes in in such small and closed communities . . . which should actually increase poor health and physical abnormalities. So, it's impressive what wholesome food and no crap can do, eh?

  4. Hi Penny, this is certainly not surprising. You and I have spoken about this often I recall. Everything we are is made from whatever we stick into our bodies, whether by mouth, injection or inhalation (not to mention the info we stick into our brains too). Letting kids be kids, get dirty and be exposed to the myriad of pathogens out there in the natural world is far better than locking them up in antibacterial nightmares full of toxic outgassings of the furniture, paint and sundries on finds in dwelling these days.

    We are joining Cowshare Canada, you can read about it on Michael Schmidt's blog The Bovine. Can't wait! This will get you a list of farmers in your area who will sell raw milk and related products, you have to swear you are not a government agent of any kind. Crazy eh? Anyway, I am looking forward to a summer of exploring some more of what our local farms have to offer (anything to get out of the city!).

    How's the garden this year Penny? Got your tomatoes in yet? We just expanded the veggie patch by a good 100 square feet! wooo hooooo!!

    ciao ciao

  5. Just going to answer all at once!
    I won't have time to make a post, if I keep answering all comments individually.

    Anonymous: thanks
    Freethinker: thanks
    Slozo: thanks and Jennifer Lakes blog is posted in the sidebar, it is quite good

    Buffy: The garden is good, working away at it
    No tomatoes in the garden yet, though they are started.
    Peas are in. Mesclun mix. beets, carrots
    We were at this organic gardening type meeting/seminar and got some organic heirloom seeds for peas
    we are trying those and will save the seeds for next year as we do with the tomatoes
    (those we have saved for about 18 years now?)
    Forget about those gmo's and monsanto and the government for allowing us to be subjugated to their toxic crap