Saturday, January 31, 2009

More proof that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Hans came across this article in the NYTimes this week: about kids, health, and dirt.

For parents with small children it's really nothing short of shocking. Gastroenterologists, microbiologists, and immunologists are conducting studies to see if we really need to keep kids super clean. Their new school of thought suggests the rise in childhood asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disorders is due to the lack of dirt, germs, and here's the big wow, worms in our kids' bodies.

One doctor writes that the body is like an unprogrammed computer at birth, and exposure to dirt, etc., is how the body builds a healthy immune system. Researchers are currently using worms to both prevent and reverse autoimmune disease including multiple sclerosis. A quote the director of gastroenterology and hepatology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston: “Children should be allowed to go barefoot in the dirt, play in the dirt, and not have to wash their hands when they come in to eat.”

Hurray for dirt -- it's always been a hit with this boy!

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