Finally mainstream science is looking at balance i.e. we need germs.
According to Science News, vol. 156, There is now growing support for
a theory called the "Hygiene Theory". This theory holds that
by keeping things too clean and germ free that we create new health problems.
One of the things that is believed to happen, living in antiseptic surroundings,
is it increases asthma, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. One possible
reason for an increase of these illnesses is that child’s immune
systems do not get the practice they need in fighting off germs.
It appears that we have two varieties of white blood cells. One is called
Th1 and the other is Th2. It seems that infants and young children depend
primary on Th2. If Th2 does not get used or get lots of practice fighting
off germs then when Th1 "comes on line", so to speak, Th2 cannot
hold it in check or keep a balance between Th1 and Th2. If Th1 then becomes
out of balance it starts attacking toxins in the environment too vigorously
i.e. asthma and allergies. Or it attacks its own body i.e. autoimmune
There are also many beneficial germs that have been ignored because most
medical researchers did not see how important they are to our health.
There is even a study that shows that an occasional bite of a blood-sucking
fly may fine-tune the immune system and prevent Leishmania, (a tropical
disease carried by sand flies).
In a separate article, in the December 1999 Discover magazine, some researchers
have found that parasitic worms common in undeveloped countries can be
very beneficial. It seems that the researchers noticed that people in
undeveloped counties rarely get inflammatory bowel disorders like ulcerative
colitis. So they persuaded six of their patients with these diseases to
quaff a brew of worm eggs.
Within three weeks 5 of the 6 patients went into complete remission and
stayed so for five months. The sixth patient had already had permanent
bowel damage but still improved significantly. Here again the researchers
believe that the worms help suppress Th1 and enhance Th2 bringing them
into better balance.
Return to top