WASHINGTON, DC, January 03, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- It is not surprising to Robin Ganzert that researchers have found more ways that dogs contribute to better health. After all, the human-animal bond is one area of research focus for the American Humane Association, the organization of which Ganzert is president and CEO. Scientists have long believed that growing up with a pet can reduce the likelihood of developing allergies or asthma; they just did not know exactly why. Now, they are getting closer to discovering an answer.
A recent article
on CNN.com highlights the latest breakthroughs in research regarding this phenomenon. Researchers from the University of Michigan created a study examining the dust from the homes of dog owners and non-dog owners. They divided mice into three groups. One group was exposed to the dog dust, another to the non-dog dust, and the last to no dust at all. Next they exposed all of the mice to two common asthma-related allergens.
Their results showed that those who were exposed to the dog dust had milder reactions than those who were not or were showered with non-dog dust. The mice produced less mucus and experienced less airway inflammation. So what was it about the dust that gives it protective qualities?
As it turns out, the dog dust contains a specific bacterium, Lactobacillus johnsonii. This bacterium boosted the immune response of the mice and helped to protect them against some allergens. This was the result of changes that occurred to the bacteria living in their gut. When researchers isolated the bacteria and gave it to other mice, they showed a similar response to those who were exposed to the dog dust.
Their study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to the CNN article, "The results could lead to future studies on how manipulating gut bacteria - possibly with probiotics or other microbial strategies - could treat or protect children from allergies and asthma." Previously, little was known about exactly why growing up in a home with a dog affected the development of asthma and allergies in children.
"This is a very exciting discovery," says Robin Ganzert. "It further supports the health benefits of owning a dog, and could have a significant impact on the development of allergies and asthma in children. As research continues, scientists may be able to provide better protection and treatment options in the future." Robin Ganzert is interested in seeing where this research will lead and how it will impact future health and medicine discoveries.
Robin Ganzert is the president and CEO of the American Humane Association, a position that she has held since 2010. Over the past three years she has taken great strides to enhance the impact and relevance of this non-profit organization that is dedicated to the wellness, welfare, and wellbeing of children and animals throughout the world. Some of the valuable initiatives that she has implemented include No Animals Were Harmed, Red Star, Wags4Patriots, Hero Dog Awards, and Humane Heroes Club. The AHA is active in conducting research, education, training, and services to a wide variety of organizations to promote advancement in understanding. They are also dedicated to deepening the understanding of the human-animal interaction and its role and impact on society. Ganzert is passionate about the work she does and is continually looking for ways to make a greater impact and reach more people.