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← Let Them Eat Dirt

Ygern's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Ygern

I'd be a little more cautious.

This study was conducted on mice, not humans; so this isn't "proof" of anyone's inner convictions about children being kept in overly-sterile environments.

Also, anecdotes of one's own experience are just that: anecdotes. I've got an anecdote too, only my early-life exposure to dirt / animals/ climbing trees etc. in the great outdoors ended me up in hospital after years of puzzled doctors and a variety of medical interventions including surgery. I was unlucky, and my experience doesn't mean anything other than a cautionary tale. But the point is that eating dirt does not automatically guarantee you a healthy immune system.

This study is not advocating that parents should allow their kids unsupervised dirt-eating sessions. Yes, exposure to microbes at an early age may well strengthen the immune systems of some children. The unlucky ones may pick up viruses and parasites that can do life-long damage.

Sat, 24 Mar 2012 15:02:59 UTC | #930170