Children Need More Dirt to be Healthy

E. Huff for Natural News:

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, have found that children who are too clean are at a higher risk of developing inflammation and disease. Normal skin bacteria that act to balance immune response protect the body from overreacting to cuts and other injuries. Excessive cleanliness is actually impairing children’s natural healing function and putting them at an increased risk for disease.

Published in the online edition of Nature Medicine, findings are confirming that germ exposure is beneficial to young children who need it in order to build immunity and prevent the onset of allergies. Being too clean is now implicated in causing increased allergies in developed countries around the world.

Staphylococci, the bacterial species studied by researchers, was found to play a vital role in blocking inflammation. It creates a molecule called lipoteichoic acid (LTA) that keeps skin keratinocytes balanced and prevents them from creating too much inflammation. As a result, a simple cut or scrape will not get overly swollen in the presence of staphylococci.

Overuse of skin soaps, body washes, and hand sanitizers is eliminating this important bacteria, leading many researchers to question hygiene methods that have become commonplace. Children are being restricted from “dirty” outdoor activities in the name of keeping them safe from germs, when in fact these restrictions are causing them more harm than good.

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  • honu

    I remember hearing about a similar study/report years ago basically saying the same thing and it affirms my point of view which is that we are of the earth on the earth so getting your fingernails dirty every once in awhile is a good thing. Some people are overly concerned (thank you marketing and advertising) about exposure to the sun, to bacteria and to letting themselves be immersed in nature in general. They use the antibacterial products. They slather on spf 155. They want to shower upwards of 3x a day. I was fortunate to grow up going camping and playing in natural settings. Swimming in lakes and climbing mountains. I ate dirt for god sakes so I was convinced early on that nature was an asset not a danger. I’m not advocating senseless interactions with the natural environment but this pathological persuit of protecting ourselves seems to be an attempt to isolate us from nature and clearly there are effects from that.

  • honu

    I remember hearing about a similar study/report years ago basically saying the same thing and it affirms my point of view which is that we are of the earth on the earth so getting your fingernails dirty every once in awhile is a good thing. Some people are overly concerned (thank you marketing and advertising) about exposure to the sun, to bacteria and to letting themselves be immersed in nature in general. They use the antibacterial products. They slather on spf 155. They want to shower upwards of 3x a day. I was fortunate to grow up going camping and playing in natural settings. Swimming in lakes and climbing mountains. I ate dirt for god sakes so I was convinced early on that nature was an asset not a danger. I'm not advocating senseless interactions with the natural environment but this pathological persuit of protecting ourselves seems to be an attempt to isolate us from nature and clearly there are effects from that.

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