Several years ago, Purell hand sanitizer dispensers were everywhere, and so were outbreaks of norovirus. There was a known association between the use of these sanitizers and illnesses. Weren’t these hand sanitizers supposed to protect us from germs?
The truth is, bacteria and other germs are all around us. Another truth is that our immune system is constantly being trained to counteract infections and build up immunities on a regular basis. Did using Purell have the side effect of making our immune systems less effective? Did many of us or our children develop illness or allergies as a result?
Being exposed to bacteria and viruses is necessary for us to build our immunities to these entities, according to a recent NY Times article which referenced a new book,“An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System.”
The science behind immunity suggests that we should be exposed to many things so we can adapt more effectively. Maybe you should eat that food that fell on the floor for instance. Do you really need to be inoculated by a flu vaccine or can you be inoculated if you go on a crowded train which has us being exposed to whatever is local. Maybe we need to increase our interaction with infection rather than decrease it.
Are allergies a result of disinfection?
These questions and more are
By Matt Richtel
March 12, 2019
Excerpted from “An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System,” published on Tuesday by William Morrow.
Should you pick your nose?
Don’t laugh. Scientifically, it’s an interesting question.
Should your children pick their noses? Should your children eat dirt? Maybe: Your body needs to know what immune challenges lurk in the immediate environment.
Should you use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizers? No. Are we taking too many antibiotics? Yes.
“I tell people, when they drop food on the floor, please pick it up and eat it,” said Dr. Meg Lemon, a dermatologist in Denver who treats people with allergies and autoimmune disorders. asked by a recent NY Times article. Check it out below.
Your Environment Is Cleaner. Your Immune System Has Never Been So Unprepared.
A century ago, British scientists suggested a link between increased hygiene and allergic conditions — the first hint that our immune systems are becoming improperly “trained.”