Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Is cleanliness bad for you?

Intriguing research that suggests that living in an environment which is too clean and hygienic may be a cause of allergies and auto-immune diseases.

CBC reports:

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

I think it is time to stop wiping everything down with disinfectant.

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