Stuff worth knowing about > Opinion > Helping your immune system doesn’t mean what you think it does

Helping your immune system doesn’t mean what you think it does

I was told by a doctor in the past that being too clean was currently believed to be part of the problem with the increase in auto-immune problems. She said that people having immune system issues were partly a response to how clean things are now compared to how they were in history.

The reason I am sharing this is that a friend and I had a discussion on the role of hygiene in being healthy from infectious diseases. To settle our disagreement we did some research and came across this great article Time to abandon the hygiene hypothesis: new perspectives on allergic disease, the human microbiome, infectious disease prevention and the role of targeted hygiene

It is scholarly and a little hard to read at times, but what I learned is that the idea that we have to be exposed to germs for our immune systems to learn and be strong was misguided. Apparently it was the lack of helpful gut flora or bacteria that was the cause of autoimmune problems and sickness. This means that in order to be healthy focusing on diet like probiotics is more helpful than wallowing around in the mud.

I am not a doctor and I am not giving medical advice. I am simply sharing what doctors who specialize in infection and immune system function are sharing in this article. If you have questions I encourage you to speak to your doctor.

My doctor has suggested that I use probiotics and enzymes to help digest and deal with other issues. For me the secondary effect has been that I rarely get sick when I take those each day. Those probiotics help increase my immune system and make eating a pleasure as well. For many people eating things like yogurt, kefir or fermented foods do the same function. I can’t have dairy and not crazy about most fermented foods so it works well for me.

Just wanted to share and give you something to think about.

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