by Kristina ChewNot having enough contact with the natural environment is one reason more city dwellers are developing allergies and asthma. That is, living away from nature is taking a measurable toll on our health according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Researchers from the University of Helsinki collected samples from 188 participants, all teenagers in eastern Finland. Those who lived on farms or near forests were found to have more diverse bacteria on their skin and to display lower sensitivity to allergens. Indeed, the scientists found that certain microbiota — bacteria that have been shown to be beneficial to humans by helping to maintain our immune system — are found in greater abundance in non-urban settings.