Tuesday, July 5, 2011

the Hygiene Hypothesis

The whole paleo movement is very restricted in its view.  There is a desire to recreate in some way the paleo diet.  Attempts are made at mimicking the Palaeolithic milieu with respect to exercise and movement patterns too.

But we don't go that far.  Many ignore things like

  • posture
  • family
  • sleep
  • friends
  • stress
  • play

We are also too clean.

Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick 

One of the thinkers that really inspires me - Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal -  had a good piece pointing to similar ideas last year:

Dirt smart

But it’s more than just immunity. Two recent studies have found strong associations between dirt and mental performance. Mycobacterium vaccae is a natural soil bacterium that appears to increase cognitive performance in rodents, probably by affecting the serotonin system. It also appears to elevate mood, similar to the effect of an anti-depressant.


Panic Attacks said...

There are a lot of people who become obsessive compulsive when it comes to cleanliness. It could be because the fear of bacteria and viruses has been ingrained in our minds from constantly being bombarded with advertisements.

Aileen said...

Being an horticulturalist I love to hear this sort of thing! Thanks for the links.

John Sifferman said...

I think there's definitely something to "dirt time." Ironically enough, I was healthiest during the years when I worked in landscaping - spending 8-10 hours daily outdoors on residential and commercial properties. Obviously, there's more to it than just exposure, but I think it definitely played a role. I would be filthy by the end of each day, but it never bothered me. Nowadays, I'm more afraid of so-called cleaning agents more than I am of getting dirty in the outdoors.