Scottish Daily Mail

A good ex­cuse to stay in bed!

- Health · Science · Endocrine Disorders · Diabetes · Health Conditions · Copenhagen · Denmark

FOR THOSE of us who are a bit lazy about chang­ing our bed sheets, there was good news t his week, with a re­port sug­gest­ing that the mi­cro­scopic crea­tures that share our beds may ac­tu­ally boost our health.

When re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Copen­hagen in Den­mark an­a­lysed bed dust (made up of old hu­man skin) from the beds of 577 in­fants, they found nearly a thou­sand dif­fer­ent types of bac­te­ria and fungi. And the num­ber of species was high­est in boys liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas who had a pet. We’ve known for s ome t i me t hat ex­po­sure to a wide range of mi­crobes, par­tic­u­larly early in life, is linked to a re­duced risk of con­di­tions such as asthma, obe­sity and type 2 di­a­betes. The think­ing is that reg­u­lar ex­po­sure to bugs helps train our im­mune sys­tems in how to be­have (and not over­re­act, as hap­pens with al­ler­gies).

As the lead re­searcher, Søren Sørensen, put it: ‘The sim­ple mes­sage is that con­stantly chang­ing bed­sheets may not be nec­es­sary.’ (Although in clas­sic re­searcher terms, he added a caveat: ‘[But] we need to in­ves­ti­gate this a bit more closely be­fore be­ing able to say so for sure.’)

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