Hygiene Hypothesis and Autoimmune Diseases


As reported by David Gutierrez in , researchers in a study conducted at the University of Nottingham point out that humans and gastrointestinal parasites might have coevolved in a way that the parasites actually help regulate the human immune system to prevent allergies.16 They believe that over the course of millions of years, gastrointestinal parasites have evolved the ability to suppress the human immune system as a survival mechanism. Because parasitic infestation has been so common throughout human evolutionary history, the human immune system has in turn evolved to compensate for this effect. This means that if the parasites are removed, the immune system may actually function too strongly, resulting in maladaptive immune responses such as asthma, allergies, and eczema. To test this concept the researchers studied over 1500 children in rural villages in Vietnam where parasitic infestation with hookworm is extremely common and allergies are not. Eradication of parasitic infection resulted in skyrocketing incidence of allergy, including dust mite sensitivity, supporting the hypothesis that parasites were modeling their immune response.

With issues such as the hygiene hypothesis, and the role of parasites in immune function in mind, gastroenterologist and researcher Dr. Joel Weinstock, originally at the University of Iowa and now Tufts University, has performed novel work with subjects with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).17 IBD was unheard of before the 20th century. Beginning of 20th-century incidence is thought to be about 1:10,000 and is now 1:250. Similar data exist with the incidences of asthma, hay fever, DM, MS, and so on. Weinstock conducted various studies of IBD patients and treated them with the therapeutic parasite Trichuris suis, a porcine whipworm, which was an ideal choice as it only remains viable in the human GI tract for a short time and must be continually administered. The organism, when introduced into patients with IBD induced changes in regulatory T cell function, blocked T cell proliferation, altered cytokine production and expression of innate immunity, altered the intestinal flora, and generally produced a lessening of symptoms and severity of disease. Pharmaceutical agents are now being developed along these lines to treat IBD.

The 'Hygiene Hypothesis' for Autoimmune and Allergic Diseases: ..

Hygiene hypothesis and autoimmune diseases.

Hygiene Hypothesis and Autoimmune Diseases - …

Over the past few decades, the healthcare community has observed an intriguing phenomenon: diseases related to the immune system - type 1 diabetes, and other autoimmune diseases, allergies, and the like - have taken hold in countries that have thriving, modern economies, while barely making a mark in the developing world. One of the best-supported theories to explain this peculiar public health pattern has been dubbed the hygiene hypothesis. The theory is based on the premise that exposure to pathogens early in life is actually beneficial to the education and development of the human immune system.

Immune Diseases and the Hygiene Hypothesis - Home …

Looking for Answers
Despite its prevalence, the level of basic autoimmune research funding is below 3% of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) total budget, which may explain why we understand so little about the roots of these diseases. Indeed, AARDA reports that the whole arena of autoimmune research is in its infancy. Though there are many theories about the origins of autoimmune diseases—such as the hygiene hypothesis theory, which suggests that the rise of such diseases in industrialized nations may be linked to cleanliness, vaccines, and decreased exposure to bacteria—scientists don’t fully understand why the immune system is unable to recognize its own cells or regulate its response; thus there are no sure cures or prevention strategies as of yet. We do know there are factors at the root of autoimmune disease development, which include both genetic and environmental components.

Immune Diseases and the Hygiene Hypothesis
30/04/2016 · April 30, 2016 Hygiene Hypothesis: How We Are Destroying Our Immune Systems, Causing Autoimmune Diseases By Decimating Evolved Gut Microbiomes

Autoimmune Disease – Naturopathic Doctor News and …


The concept of the hygiene hypothesis is also quite simple, with the complexity being in the details. The thought that we have induced dysregulation into our immune systems by virtue of living in too clean an environment and the overeradication of infection is not new (see Figure 1), but it has gained favor with researchers who have begun to work out exactly why this may be the case. Some of these concepts were elegantly addressed by Weiss in an editorial in the , "Eat Dirt – The Hygiene Hypothesis and Allergic Disease."14 While there is no doubt that modern public health measures, such as adequate sewage systems, water treatment, the use of antibiotic agents, and various other aspects of modern hygiene have lessened deadly infectious outbreaks and prevented unnecessary deaths, as with most things, there is a yin and yang. This "clean new world" has likely resulted in a lack of adequate sampling of our environment, including exposure to all of the microbes that we share our planet with, particularly while we are young and our immune systems are developing the delicate balance between adequate defense and tolerance. In a 2010 paper in titled "Farm Living – Effects of Childhood Asthma and Allergy," authors Mutius and Vercelli state:

Hygiene Hypothesis - Could our sterile living environment be causing increased autoimmune disease? - Dr. Michael Ruscio

Is There a Link Between Nutrition and Autoimmune Disease?


1. Bach JF. The effect of infections on susceptibility to autoimmune and allergic diseases. Sep 2002;347(12):911–920.
2. Inaba M, Ushijim S, Hirata N, et al. Methotrexate-related lyphomatoid granulomatosis in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis. (Article in Japanese.) Aug 2011;49(8):597–601.
3. Mayes MD. Epidemiologic studies of environmental agents and systemic autoimmune diseases. . 1999;107(suppl. 5):743–748.
4. Pishak OV. Bukovian State Medical Academy, Public Health Ministry of Ukraine. . Sep–Oct 1999;61(5):41–47.
5. Tiwana H, Wilson C, Walmsley RS, et al. Antibody responses to gut bacteria in ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. 1997;17:11–16.
6. Ebringer A, Rahid T. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease triggered by Proteus urinary tract infection. . Mar 2006;13(1):41–48.
7. Ebringer A, Rahid T, Wilson C. Rheumatoid arthritis: proposal for the use of anti-microbial therapy in early cases. . 2003;32:2–11.
8. Liao F, Li Z, Wang Y, et al. Porphyromonas gingivalis may play an important role in the pathogenesis of periodontitis-associated rheumatoid arthritis. . Feb 2009;72;732–735.
9. Harkiolaki M, Holmes SL, Svendsen P, et al. T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease due to low-affinity crossreactivity to common microbial peptides. . 20 Mar, 2009;30:348–357.
10. Mazmanian SK, Round JL, Kasper DL. A microbial symbiosis factor prevents intestinal inflammatory disease. . 29 May 2008;453(7195):620–625.
11. Petru G, Stunzner D, Lind P, et al. Antibodies to Yersinia enterocolitica in immunogenic thyroid diseases. (Article in German.) 1987;14(1):11–14.
12. Anasaldi N, Palmas T, Corrias A, et al. Autoimmune thyroid disease and celiac disease in children. Jul 2003;37(1):63–66.
13. Brady D. Novel Options in GI diagnostics: DNA detection of gut microbiotaJul–Aug 2008:28–31.
14. Weiss ST. Eat dirt–the hygiene hypothesis and allergic disease (editorial). . 19 Sep 2002;347(12):930–931.
15. von Mutius E, Vercelli D. Farm living: effects on childhood asthma and allergy. . Dec 2010;10(12):861–868.
16. Gutierrez D. Parasites in your gut actually help protect you from allergies [online article]. . . Accessed Nov 03, 2011.
17. Summers RW, Elliott DE, Weinstock JV, et al. Trichuris suis seems to be safe and possibly effective in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. . Sep 2003;98(9):2034–2041.
18. Fasano A, Shea-Donohue T. Mechanisms of disease: the role of intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal autoimmune diseases. . Sept 2005;2(9):416–422.
19. Fasano A. Surprises from celiac disease. . Aug 2009:301(2):54–61.
20. Sapone A, de Magistris L, Pietzak M. Zonulin upregulation is associated with increased gut permeability in subjects with type I diabetes and their relatives. . May 2006;55(5):1443–1449.
21. Kong J, Zhang Z, Musch MW, et al. Novel role of the vitamin D receptor in maintaining the integrity of the intestinal mucosal barrier. . 2008;294:G208–G216.
22. Yao SY, Stratton CW, Mitchell WM. CSF oligoclonal bands in MS include antibodies against Chlamydophilia antigens. . 2001;56:1168–1176.
23. Gilden DH. Infectious causes of multiple sclerosis. . 2005;4:195–202.
24. Gombart AF, Borregaard N, Koeffler HP. Human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) gene is a direct target of the vitamin D receptor and is strongly up-regulated in myeloid cells by 1,25-hihydroxyvitamin D3. . 2009;4(9):1151–1165.
25. Notkins AL. New predictors of disease. . 2007;296(3):72–79.
26. Leslie D, Lipsky P, Notkins AL. Autoantibodies as predictors of disease. . 2001;108:1417–1422.
27. O'Bryan T. American College for Advancement in Medicine annual symposium presentation 2009.
28. Shoenfeld Y, Blank M, Abu-Shakra M, et al. The mosaic of autoimmunity: prediction, autoantibodies, and therapy in autoimmune disease. . 2008;10:13–19.
29. Lindberg B, Iverson SA, et al. Islet autoantibodies in cord blood in children who develop Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus before 15 years of age. . 1999;42:181–187.
30. Vojdani A. Antibodies as predictors of complex autoimmune diseases and cancer. . Jul–Sep 2008;21(3):553–566.

20/03/2009 · Autoimmune Disease: A Modern Epidemic? Molecular Mimicry, the Hygiene Hypothesis, Stealth Infections, and Other Examples of …

Is There a Link Between Nutrition and Autoimmune Disease

He writes: “recent investigations have furthered an overarching “microbiome hypothesis” to home features, medical practices, and cleanliness behaviors that are suspects in the hygiene effect… Good clues are emerging that give mechanistic substance to the theory and could help guide microbe-based therapeutics to fill the allergy and asthma management gap in prevention and disease modification.”