Monday, January 17, 2011

Are we too squeaky clean?

An interesting theory to ponder.  Our bodies are their own 'ecosystems'.  Does over-cleanliness destroy 'good' bacteria, upsetting the balance?  Does this imbalance contribute to immune disorders like allergies and asthma?  We all know overuse of antibiotics has led to resistant strains of bacteria.  Here's the case against antibacterial soaps.

Does hyper-hygiene ultimately weaken our immune system by depriving the body the opportunity to learn by exposing it to tiny doses of a wide variety of microorganisms over a lifetime?  I've been biting my fingernails for as long as I can remember.  Have I actually been helping train my body to fight disease all my life?  Try this Radiolab episode on parasites for more.

***Gravy Rainbow*** -- Follow us at @GravyRainbow

I first read Parasite Rex : Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures after hearing Carl Zimmer on an episode of This American Life.  This book is filled with interesting and unsettling insights... you'll never look at your world in quite the same way again.   

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