Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cleanliness leads to sickliness

I confess, straight up, that I have bad allergies, so I am rather interested in why my body would decide that perfectly harmless substances (eggs, chocolate) are life-threatening.

Perhaps, this is explained by the Hygiene Hypothesis--kids who grow up surrounded by more pollution have less asthma and allergies than those that grow up in more desirable circumstances. Growing up with insufficient exposure to dirt gives us a bored immune system. It must find something to do...Ah ...ha! No Peanuts for You!

New research shows that roundworm infections (ewww, gross, but roundworms activate the histamine response, the same response that runs amok to create allergies) lessens allergy & asthma attacks--presumably gives our poor bored immune system something productive to do. I say let's just teach it to surf the net.

When cleanliness goes terribly wrong; Ukrainian Eurovision entrants; clearly the result of overzealous scrubbing--how else would everything be so shiny?
PS. This video is quite possibly my current fave on the intertubes.


tamar said...

I have suspected for a long time that using disinfectants on absolutely everything deprives children of the opportunity to develop their immune systems. I proudly maintain a home overrun by animalcules.

With regard to the video, what is with the eastern european obsession with counting? Adult content to follow:

djinn said...

Yay Tamar! I have always held that antibacterial agents just encourage the little guys to evolve in ways we wouldn't prefer.

George does not share my fondness for "animalcules." Sigh. Did I tell you about the two vacuums? One upstairs and one down. For our house with 700some odd square feet on a floor.

But I bear the burden, uncomplainingly (except for the occasional rant/blog post) of a clean clean house.

Steve said...

Hey, I saw that Eurovision competition. That was the Ukrainian entry for the 2007 Eurovision contest. It makes American Idol look like amateur hour.