T Nation

Too Much Hygiene = Disease


#1

http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2006/06/16/rats-hygiene.html

A comparison of rats living in the wild and the lab lends support to the idea that an overly hygienic environment can lead to allergies and autoimmune diseases.

According to the "hygiene hypothesis," exposure early in life to infections from household dust, germy siblings or surfaces may reduce the risk of developing disease in adulthood.

William Parker, a professor of experimental surgery at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and his team compared lab rodents to more than 50 rats and mice captured and killed in cities and farms.

"Laboratory rodents live in a virtually germ- and parasite-free environment, and they receive extensive medical care - conditions that are comparable to what humans living in Westernized, hygienic societies experience," Parker said in a release.

"On the other hand, rodents living in the wild are exposed to a wide variety of microbes and parasites, much like humans living in societies without modern health care and where hygiene is harder to maintain."

Industrialized societies that emphasize hygiene have higher rates of allergy, asthma and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis compared to the developing world.

Stimulating the immune cells of wild rodents made no difference, but lab rats overreacted, the team reports in the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology.

The wild rodents also showed as much as four times higher levels of immunoglobulins related to allergy and autoimmune disease, but didn't get sick.

Since wild animals are likely exposed to more parasites, the antibodies would likely bind to parasite threats.

But in lab animals, the same antibodies would bind to harmless environmental allergens instead of parasites, leading to allergies, he said.

Looking at differences between animals in the wild and the lab may help scientists figure out what environmental exposures may be protective.

One flaw of the research is the team didn't know if the wild animals were exposed to any unusual diseases that could influence the results.


#2

George Carlin has a bit on this...


#3

Just goes to show how genius George Carlin is. The dudes years ahead of the dork-ass scientists.


#4

This goes for mental fitness as well. Most people envy those who have had life handed to them on a silver platter. Yet, I almost pity anyone who has not had opportunity to meet challenges, and to grow through them.

IMO, it's not good to be either too hardened or too soft. It's not good to be "too" anything.


#5

This is true but note it is not ALWAYS the cause of autoimmune diseases and allergies.

Similarly, going through challenges can make a person grow emotionally, but there are many, many people who do NOT grow from the challenges and collapse into a life of unachieved goals, plodding along. And if you ask them, you'll find that is their assessment, not a judgement passed on them. And they have, in fact, faced some challenges. The difference is the attitude but some people have already learnt an attitude of defeat ... I guess you could say, that once they have met and learnt from the challenge of attitude, then all the other things that come along don't matter (so much).

Immune system is probably similar - the immune system needs to learn that it doesn't need to make a big deal out of every foreign substance. Don't make it a big drama.

Note however that modern man is exposed to a lot of chemicals and pollutants (such as car smoke) that are far worse than the natural world. Labs might be clean but they are still full of plastic, painted walls etc.. and other shite that the rats wouldn't have in their rat hole in the country.


#6

Brilliant!


#7

Cool, I know have a scientific excuse for living in a dump. I'm not cleaning my home ever again... as it may be dangerous to my health.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!