Due to urbanization Diabetes 1, allergies, asthma, and other immune-mediated diseases have become a large problem worldwide. Scientists have proven that they are to a degree caused by people moving away from nature and being less in contact with its microbial diversity. This has weakened the immune system.
For example, recent results from Russian Karelia and Finland, separated by a land border, suggest that environmental factors have greatly contributed to the increasing prevalence of immune‐mediated disorders. Infections, or rather lack of them, may be strongly involved in the development of both autoimmune and allergic diseases.
The important time for developing a properly functioning immune system is during childhood. But, if it is not possible to move to a more diverse environment or to adjust the urban lifestyle, it is possible to get the advantages of nature's microbial biodiversity another way, by applying Uute, an extract from nature.
"The Uute substance includes diverse microbes from forest and agricultural environments, which aid in correcting the development of the immune system of children. It can come in the form of a very fine powder or have some other material shape," says Dr Aki Sinkkonen, the scientific advisor of Uute Scientific and the leader of the research group Nature-Based Solutions in the University of Helsinki.
The important thing to realise is that the Uute substance is not taken orally – it is meant to be brought into contact with the skin. It can be mixed with or integrated into daily consumer products, such as fabrics and creams. At the moment, the first consumer products with the Uute substance added are being developed for the market.
Firm based in research
The idea of a "biodiversity powder" can be traced back to at least three recent research projects or consortiums. Of these, ADELE (Autoimmune Defense and Living Environment) consortium employed 15 people at three universities in Finland.
Its follow-up project ADELE ecosystem of the University of Helsinki and Tampere University develops solutions to prevent the development of immune-mediated diseases. The PREVALL experiment is an intervention trial which aims to reduce the probability of allergy among small children using highly diverse microbiological inoculate originating in organic materials derived from nature.
The ImmunoGarden project, led by Aki Sinkkonen, aims to develop garden and landscaping materials that are scientifically proven to enhance the diverse and healthy microbial community on the skin, and aid in the development and normal functioning of the immune system.