Moving house or the separation of parents can significantly increase the risk of children developing allergies later on. These are the results from a long-term study correlating life-style, immune system development and allergies, led by the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig (UFZ), the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the "Institut für Umweltmedizinische Forschung" (IUF) in Duesseldorf.
The researchers had examined blood samples taken from 234 six-year old children and discovered increased blood concentrations of the stress-related peptide VIP (vasoactive intestinal polypeptide) in connection with moving house or the separation of parents. The neuropeptide VIP could take on a mediator role between stress events in life and the regulation of immune responses, researchers write in the scientific journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.
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