Recently, there was new research published in Science showing that exposure to farm dirt helps protect mice from developing asthma. The research group was even able to identify one compound made by mouse cells that protected the mice from developing asthma.

This discovery could help explain the “hygiene hypothesis,” which suggests that children can, in fact, be too clean. According to the hygiene hypothesis, a lack of exposure to bacteria and viruses during childhood can actually increase the chances that a child gets an allergic disease by weakening the natural development of his or her immune system.

While these results do not present the whole picture of the hygiene hypothesis, they are an important piece in understanding the biology behind why the hygiene hypothesis may or may not be true.

Check out this article to read more about the study!