Dirty Kids Equal Healthy Kids

Dirty Kids Equals Healthy Kids - Photo by Travis Swan/Flickr (UrbanFarmOnline.com)Emerging research points out that the backyard garden just may be the cure for what ails us.

Dear Friends,
in my beautiful, dirty and underdeveloped (thanks God!!) little town of bliss, that I call home – we often talk about the blessing it is how natural the children can grow up here. Running around in nature, having pets that live equally free, watching wild animals in the mountains, climbing trees, swimming in the lake,…. Most of the parents in town are in their thirties and forties and can remember a childhood witch much less limitation to their personal freedom and dirt level, than children experience today in the western world. I can see that it gives the children joy, blissful feelings of accomplishment and a good, strong connection with their physical body – to live that deeply entwined with natures blessings.
Here a scientific paper on how healthy it is to “get your hand dirty”
Bless your dirty hands and feet!! Edith

kiBy Karen Lanier
The feel of mud squishing between your toes … But wait, what about worms?!The constant rings of dirt under your nails … Oh, but shouldn’t you wash your hands before you eat?!
The joy of plucking a ripe strawberry out of the garden and biting into its warm sweetness … Yikes! Aren’t you going to rinse it first?!
Our industrialized world has become squeaky clean—and chronically ill. Many children today are prevented from going outside to play, whether to keep them clean or due to an inflammatory condition, such as allergies, asthma or eczema. Many of these ailments can be traced to a lack of good dirt in our own bodies. The problem, as it seems, may actually turn out to be the solution.

A Little Dirt Doesn’t Hurt

While in today’s Western culture, children with soiled feet and grass-stained knees are hurriedly rushed to the bathtub and slathered with antibacterial soap, the loss of our connection to the garden and its dirt means a loss of connection to all the good microbes that live inside it.
In the February 2015 issue of the journal Nature, researchers explain that the societal shifts in our microbial communities could be contributing to our hyper-reactive immune systems. “Drivers of these changes might include antibiotics; sanitary practices that are aimed at limiting infectious disease, but that also hinder the transmission of symbiotic microbes; and, of course, our high-sugar, high-fat modern diet,” says Moises Velasquez-Manoff, author of Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases.
Worldwide studies based on children’s lifestyles are proving that early exposure to a healthy microbiome—the community of bacteria living in your body—is a key factor to a strong immune system later in life. A study in Canada found that babies delivered by cesarean were lacking certain “good” bacteria. Likewise, breast-fed infants showed an advantage in the richness and diversity of microbes living in their systems.
dirA European study gathered samples of allergens from the homes of children attending a Waldorf farm school and compared samples from more urban home environments. As expected, more dust mites, animal dander and mold show up in the homes of farm kids. A separate study in Austria found that farm children suffer from significantly fewer allergy attacks. Based on these studies, you can conclude that children’s immune systems develop tolerance to allergens when the children are raised with the allergens on a day-to-day basis.
Household cleaning can wash away those beneficial microbes that help young people’s immune systems develop. A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that homes with dishwashers had more children with allergies than homes where dishes are hand-washed. To compound that hypothesis, the homes without dishwashers were also more likely to eat farm-fresh and fermented foods. More complex laboratory research turns up evidence that Crohn’s disease, autism and anxiety are also connected to the health of our internal ecosystems.

A Microscopic View of Health

Any farmer will tell you the food they grow is only as healthy as the soil it grows in—the more biodiversity, the better. One gram of healthy soil could contain billions of microorganisms: bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes. This soil life builds structure and performs essential ecological functions below ground.
Friendly ecosystems full of anti-inflammatory microbes protect our bodies. “Our resident microbes seem to control aspects of our immune function in a way that suggests they are farming us, too,” says Velasquez-Manoff in Nature.
Microorganisms live everywhere—your gut, skin, hair, couch, dog—and can affect everything from your physical well-being to your mental and emotional states. Psychobiotics, a potential new pharmaceutical field, is finding correlations between what’s living in a person’s gut and their “gut” reaction to different stimuli. This could mean that having fun in the dirt as a kid could actually lead to a healthy mood as an adult. However, untangling exactly which bacteria affect particular conditions will keep scientists busy for many decades.

Human-Food-Project-logo-transparentThe Human Food Project’s American Gut study is taking a crowd-sourcing approach to connect the microscopic dots. Run almost entirely by volunteers, the citizen science effort has accepted thousands of donations—financial, as well as, ahem, fecal. For $99, they provide a personalized, scientific report and analysis of your very own gut bacteria and include your information in the massive database they are creating in an attempt to understand our microbial and behavioral patterns on a population scale. Co-founder Rob Knight explains in Nature,
“We have the potential not just to read out our microbiome and look at predispositions but to change it for the better.”
Just as the soil microbiome varies from field to field, the human microbiome varies from person to person. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that autoimmune diseases affect three times as many women as men; some theorize that it could it be due to the expectation that little girls stay cleaner and not be as messy as little boys. Subtle yet distinct boundaries between cultures also show up under the microscope. Compared to more primitive societies, such as the Hadza of Tanzania, industrialized Western diets and lifestyles reveal a reduction in variety and abundance of good gut bacteria.
Tony Stallins, associate professor of geography at the University of Kentucky, has been trying to translate the biology and sociology research into geographic language and draws some healthy conclusions. “People think they are going to be able to finalize this relationship between us, our environment and our bacteria, but things will always evolve,” he says. “The medical world depends on this stability, so patenting this may not be possible.”

Get Your Hands Dirty

Remy Hendrych is a health coach and nature-based mentor who lives with Crohn’s disease. She ferments her own foods and draws on traditional wisdom to guide her diet and lifestyle.
“Personally, it’s one of the few foods I think I can draw ‘conclusions’ about in my own health—that with fermented food there seems to be a strong correlation with a number of improved health markers,” Hendrych says. “I have also seen this in other people I’ve worked with who have been sick and are healing.”
Do you need to improve your own microbiome? You’ve got some options: You could swallow pills of probiotics. (Look forward to the new dirt movement, when pharmaceutical companies commodify your microbiome and sell you pills of beneficial bacteria to target your specific condition.) You could also make and eat fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut, which naturally contain many of these probiotics.

kAnother, often overlooked option, is to pay close attention to the quality of the soil that produces your food. Invite your young friends out to the garden or field with you to plant some potatoes in the rich tilth or harvest some spring onions.
Stallins muses about the cures for the ills we’ve created. “We can simulate dirty fingernails, with all the possible side effects, or we can just go out and get our fingernails dirty,” he says. The side effects of that might just be pure, childlike joy.

Source: http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/green-living/dirty-kids-equal-healthy-kids.aspx

Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy

descargaBy Bonnie L. Grant
Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues. Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects and chemical dependency potential. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. Read on to see how dirt makes you happy.

Natural remedies have been around for untold centuries. These natural remedies included cures for almost any physical ailment as well as mental and emotional afflictions. Ancient healers may not have known why something worked but simply that it did. Modern scientists have unraveled the why of many medicinal plants and practices but only recently are they finding remedies that were previously unknown and yet, still a part of the natural life cycle. Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link which has been studied and found to be verifiable.

Soil Microbes and Human Health

Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.
Serotonin has been linked depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems. The bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant in soil and has no adverse health effects. These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt.

images (1)Most avid gardeners will tell you that their landscape is their “happy place” and the actual physical act of gardening is a stress reducer and mood lifter. The fact that there is some science behind it adds additional credibility to these garden addicts’ claims. The presence of a soil bacteria antidepressant is not a surprise to many of us who have experienced the phenomenon ourselves. Backing it up with science is fascinating, but not shocking, to the happy gardener.

Mycrobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil are also being investigated for improving cognitive function, Crohn’s disease and even rheumatoid arthritis.

How Dirt Makes You Happy

Antidepressant microbes in soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which results in the production of higher levels of serotonin. The bacterium was tested both by injection and ingestion on rats and the results were increased cognitive ability, lower stress and better concentration to tasks than a control group.

Gardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection. The natural effects of the soil bacteria antidepressant can be felt for up to 3 weeks if the experiments with rats are any indication. So get out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life.

Watch this video about how gardening makes you happy:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6WxEQrWUik?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque]

Resources: “Identification of an Immune-Responsive Mesolimbocortical Serotonergic System: Potential Role in Regulation of Emotional Behavior,” by Christopher Lowry et al., published online on March 28, 2007 inNeuroscience.