ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Could the Mennonite community hold the key to food allergies? That's what a new study being conducted by the University of Rochester hopes to learn.
The U of R will conduct the five-year study on Mennonite mothers and infants to learn why only 1 percent of that community suffered from food allergies.
In comparison, 1-in-13 American children in the general population develop a food allergy.
Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo will lead the study.
She released a statement, saying: "Individuals in the Old Order Mennonite community live on farms, avoid antibiotics, and deliver their babies at home — and as a result, they are exposed to a variety of bacteria that those living in the city or suburbs don't come into contact with. We believe that differences in lifestyles between these two groups affects how their immune systems develop and as a result, their susceptibility to food allergies."