Honey, eat your dirt

Honey, eat your dirt (external - login to view)


Parents know that children should eat more fruits and vegetables, but probably don't know that there's something else missing from their kids' diets: dirt. No, that's not a typo. Children need to eat a little dirt now and then to develop healthy immune systems. Problem is, in many countries, people have become too clean for their own good.
In recent years, a greater percentage of children in developed nations have developed allergies or other immune system disorders, such as asthma. In October, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that some three million American children have food or digestive allergies, an 18-per-cent increase from the decade before. In the mid-1990s, 11 per cent of Canadian children aged 11 and younger suffered from asthma. But by 2001, nearly 70,000 more had been diagnosed with the chronic condition, pushing that percentage up to 13 per cent.
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests this is due to excessive hygiene --the old too-much-of-a-good-thing problem. British epidemiologist David P. Strachan first suspected that cleanliness could lead to illness in 1989, dubbing his idea "the hygiene hypothesis."
In her new book Why Dirt is Good, immunology expert Mary Ruebush explains how recent research is proving Strachan's hypothesis. A...

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I knew this for years... but I suppose some don't.... how many here unload their homes with 99.9% anti-bacterial sprays / wipes? How many here are continually trying to keep their kids as clean as possible?

Does anybody here have any observations on how their children react to infections, allergies and bacteria from either keeping them clean most of the time, compared to those who let their kids get messy from time to time?

I always figured, how is the immune system supposed to know what to protect against if it never gains any exposure to these things?

Of course, I'm not saying to let your kids lick a poop on a stick (Poopsicle) or anything, but I feel society has become so over protective, that they are creating the same problems they're trying so hard to avoid.

Maybe the reason why the common cold and the flu seem so resistant is because our immune systems have become weaker and so many people are looking at the whole situation the wrong way.
I don't know if it caught on or not, but a few years ago a company was selling dirt in capsules at the health food stores so that people could get their daily allotment of dirt.
Yes, we are too sterile. Our immune systems don't function. That is why disease is rampant. And all those antiseptic, anti-bacterial cleaners are probably killing more people than helping.

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