Hi Readers: Let kids eat dirt? Yes!
At least, that’s my take-away from reading this thought-provoking article. It discusses the work of Emory neuroscientist Charles Raison, MD, who studies the link between cleanliness and depression. His hypothesis is that maybe young people are experiencing more asthma, allergies and even depression because they are less exposed to the benign germs that have been co-existing with and HELPING humans since the beginning of time. One way those microscopic “old friends” may help humans is by teaching the immune system not to overreact to other non-threatening germs and become inflamed. And there is some connection between inflammation and depression.
Here’s Dr. Raison putting it far better than I: can: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfl6p4U_8Mw&feature=channel]
His entire study appears in December’s Archives of General Psychiatry. But me, I watched more of his short videos on YouTube and found them really good. Now…off to toss the Purell. — Lenore