Children who grow up in anthroposophical environments have a slightly lower risk of suffering from allergies than other children, previous research has shown. But what's in this habitat that protects the children?
Ursula Flatters, general practitioner and medical officer at the anthroposophical Vidarklin, and others have argued that there is the absence of vaccines, including measles, which keep the children healthy.
Not at all, says Johan Alm, chief physician at the Sachsen Children's and Youth Hospital in Stockholm. He has researched the case and compared children in families with an anthroposophical lifestyle with children living more conventionally.
"We did not see any connection, which means that the concern that some parents may have that their children are getting sick or allergic to the vaccines may be relieved," says Johan Alm to TT.
The union disappeared
In the current study, Johan Alm and his colleagues have followed three groups of children, from birth up to five years of age. A total of 466 children from Järna, south of Södertälje, were found, of whom 99 were considered completely anthroposophical, while 100 were considered to live in this philosophy and the rest at all.
During the follow-up period, parents responded to questions about lifestyle and others while the children were tested on several occasions. Among other things, blood samples were tested that were tested for the presence of allergies.
– We saw partly that the incidence of allergies among the anthroposophical children was lower, compared to other children. In addition, we saw a connection between vaccination and a lower incidence of allergies in blood samples, but it was expected because these children were less allergic. However, when we took into account different risk factors, like the family's lifestyle, this relationship disappeared. Therefore, our interpretation is that there is no support for childhood vaccines causing allergies, "says Johan Alm.
Confirms other studies
Agnes Wold, Professor of Clinical Bacteriology at the Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, says to SVT News that the new study confirms previous research on the subject.
– This study confirms what has been shown in many other studies – that vaccination does not increase the risk of the child becoming allergic. Here you have looked at anthroposophic children, as you know, have a lower risk of having allergies than other children.
"The study shows that allergy protection is not due to the fact that the anthroposophic children receive fewer vaccinations. Thus, there is something else in the anthroposophical way of life that can protect the child from allergy development.
Exactly what it is in the anthroposophical life that gives less allergic children, however, do not know the researchers.
"There can be a variety of environmental factors, such as diet," says Johan Alm.
The study also showed that among the anthroposophical children, 58 were completely unvaccinated at five years of age.
Because of the unwillingness of anthroposophists to vaccinate, the community outside of Järna has suffered outbreaks of both red dogs and measles through the years.
The current study is published in the Lancet magazine EClinicalMedicine.