Friday, 30 Jan, 2009 Health & Fitness

Dirt Is Good For Our Health


Recently, an interesting article about the use of belly parasites, viruses and bacteria was published in The New York Times by reporter Jane Braudey.

It is widely known that children tend to put into their mouths all they can grab on to, which also includes all types of dirt. It is considered that they do it instinctively. Since instinctive models of behaviour give an evolutionary advantage, there is a possibility that this one also helped humans survive, Braudey says. She also affirms that there are proofs that back the hypothesis, according to which dirt is useful for our health.

The mechanism of the useful influence of microorganisms, viruses and parasites on the human organism is the following: being introduced into the organism, they stimulate the development of the healthy immune system. More than that, according to some data of unfinished yet researches, belly worms even help repair some "mistakes" in the immune system - mistakes that can lead to asthma, allergy and autoimmune diseases.

The microbiologist-immunologist Mary Rubush, who recently published a book called "Why Dirt Is Good", has claimed in an interview that "by introducing different objects into their mouths, children give their immune systems the opportunity to study their surroundings".

This is absolutely necessary for the right functioning of the immune system, because in a newborn "it's similar to an unprogrammed computer. It needs instructions", says Dr. Joel Weinstock from the Medicine Center Tufts in Boston. According to him, "the majority of belly worms are harmless, especially for people who eat well".

Belly worms have a very good influence on the human immune system, according to Dr. David Elliot who is a gastroenterologist at the University of Iowa. Together with Weinstock, they made experiments on mice, during which, with the help of worms, they could not only prevent autoimmune diseases, but also treat them.

Dr. Rubush recommends refusing the use of antibacterial soap, in order not to kill the necessary human bacteria. He advices using common soap or cleaning the hands with special alcoholic solutions. Dr. Weinstock goes far than that: he advices letting children out barefooted, allowing them playing in dirt and not to wash their hands before eating, and, for a better effect, living with a pair of dogs and a cat under one roof.

Posted by summer_rain

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