Cats Prevent Asthma in Newborns – Myth or Fact and the Surprising Answer

Cats Prevent Asthma in Newborns - Myth or Fact and the Surprising AnswerThanks to a new study, the myth that cats can prevent asthma in newborns has been proven to be a fact! Does the answer surprise you? If so, then you might be shocked to read that scientists also speculate that felines could also help fight obesity and diabetes.

Scientists from the Copenhagen Studies on Asthma in Childhood Research Center (COPSAC) in Denmark have performed a study that concludes cats neutralize the effect of a gene that, when activated, doubles the risk of developing asthma in children. That means when you have a cat in the home of a newborn, they aid in stopping the gene that activates asthma.

Related: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Cats

Hans Bisgaard, professor of pediatrics and the head of COPSAC and the co-author of the study explained, “For me, this is the core message because it’s a recognition in the direction of how disease occurs. It documents the interplay between genetics and the environment we live in, and in particular that this occurs very early in life, both during pregnancy and in the home.” The study, which has been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, detailed the study and it’s discoveries.

Scientists mapped the genes of 377 Danish children whose mothers have asthma. The results revealed that cats remove the increased risk of developing asthma among children with a particular variation of the gene 17q21, called TT. This gene has the strongest impact on the development of asthma.

So just how much exposure to cats does a baby need to prevent that activation? Doctor Arne Host, who studies asthma at H.C. Andersen’s Children’s Hospital in Odense, Denmark, stated, “Now it looks like the effect is linked to a particular gene-variant, which goes to show just how complex the development of asthma and allergies are. It’s not only about genes and the environment, but how the two interact, and there’s so much that we still don’t know.

Related: Can Cats See Ghosts – The Science Behind the Sixth Sense

Of course, there is a drawback…

Another study from COPSAC found that that cats also activate a gene in the body that triggers eczema in children. The study focusing on asthma reinforced those findings.

What do you think about the studies’ findings?

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  1. Neely Moldovan says

    SEems like an interesting study. I am highly allergic to cats so we cant have one regardless.

  2. Guest says

    I think if you are around a cat from thebeginning it will not effect you at all.

  3. Guest says

    I was really surprised by this information. I would like to see more studies/info on this. What a beautiful photo.

  4. Guest says

    We have always had pets and I heard similar things about cats triggering asthma. Very interesting

  5. Guest says

    I knew that dogs helped protect kiddos from asthma and allergies. Totally awesome that cats help too! We have two cats and three dogs ourselves!

  6. Guest says

    This seems so backward, especially when I am allergic to cat hair. God does amazing things with his creations.

  7. Guest says

    So this research is interesting, I would be interested to learn its details. Gene 17q21 doesn’t influence asthma in adults, but perhaps desensitization to cats can alleviate asthma in at least children.

  8. Guest says

    I have always been doubtful of any pets around children when they were too young and this had made me keep both away from each other. Though they developed a closer relationship later. This study means a lot to parents such as me

  9. Guest says

    I hadn’t heard the myth that cats can prevent asthma in newborns! But the study sounds really interesting!

  10. Melanie Poulos Walsh says

    That’s really interesting. I loved that we have pets in our family, and knowing it won’t affect asthma is reassuring. My oldest’s asthma is in control now, but it’s hard to watch her struggle.

  11. Guest says

    Omg now this is interesting!!!! I’m a total cat lover so anything I hear that cats are good at, awesome news!!!

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