Kids who grow up on farms and have contact with cows and cow milk are less likely to have allergies and asthma than kids raised nearby but not on a farm, according to a new study from Europe.

Researchers had previously noticed that kids raised on European farms have lower rates of asthma and allergies than other children. But the new findings help identify, at least in part, what specifically may protect some farm-raised youngsters against developing asthma or allergies.

"Nature can really teach us something here," says James Gern, a childhood allergy researcher at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison, who wasn't involved in this research.

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