Watch CBS News

Growing up around dogs could reduce Crohn's disease risk, researchers say

Growing up around dogs could reduce Crohn's disease risk, researchers say
Growing up around dogs could reduce Crohn's disease risk, researchers say 00:57

BOSTON - Man's best friend could be your toddler's as well. A new study finds that children who grow up around dogs may have healthier guts.

Researchers at the University of Toronto collected information on the relatives of nearly 4,300 people with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel condition. They found that growing up around dogs or having a large family seemed to offer some protection against developing Crohn's.

The thought is that dogs expose children to an array of microbes or germs which help build a robust immune system, a stronger gut lining, and a healthy balance between gut bacteria and the body's immune response. For unclear reasons, the same was not found for cats.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.