Fastidious house-keepers and antiseptic-spray-wielding germophobes take note: it turns out that a little bit of dirt is good for you. And germs aren’t so bad either.
We now know that children raised on a farm, or with one or more pets to track in dirt and dust, have fewer allergies and less asthma than those raised in supposedly cleaner environments.
We are also learning much more about the universe of micro-organisms with which we peacefully co-exist. You might be surprised to learn that there are more bacterial cells residing in your intestine than there are cells of “you” in your entire body. We need the right mix of these beneficial bacteria in our gut in order to properly digest food, have normal bowel mobility, reduce the likelihood of food allergies, and fend off possible infections.
There’s beginning to be plenty of research now on the various benefits of probiotics — food supplements that supply necessary gut bacteria.
Most of the commonly used probiotics are made with the bacteria found in yogurt. Though they are beneficial, these four or five species are only a tiny fraction of the diverse flora and fauna that colonize our gut.
A different approach is to use bacteria found in soil. Could this actually be the way to make the best probiotic supplement?
This method makes logical sense to me. After all, soil bacteria have been an integral part of our environment since before the first homo sapiens gathered roots and berries to make the first meal. And now there’s a bit of preliminary research in support of it.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 212–400-9663 if you’d like to learn about the specific supplements I use. Or check out your local health food store.
If you choose to incorporate probiotics into your daily regimen, I hope you’ll share with me the results.