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Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
01-15-2011, 03:15 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-15-2011, 03:16 PM by solar.)
#1
Star  Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
Is Dirt the New Prozac?

by Dr. Larry Dossey, for the Huffington Post

[excerpt of article below, complete article at this link]

Aug. 12, 2009

[beginning of article excerpt--]

Imagine: You're feeling so depressed that you visit your doctor and request a prescription for a mood elevator.

Instead of writing you a prescription for Prozac or a similar antidepressant, she advises you to get dirty.

While you consider changing doctors, she describes how getting dirty changes your brain chemistry.

The microbes in dirt, she says, tweak the same neurons that are stimulated by Prozac. Your options, she explains, are an expensive drug plus its possible side effects, or gardening, yard work, or a romp in the park.

Your doctor, it turns out, hasn't gone round the bend.

She is actually up-to-date on the latest scientific findings about how the natural environment affects our brain function.

The dirt-and-Prozac connection surfaced a couple of years ago from Dr. Chris Lowry and his colleagues at the University of Bristol and University College London.

They exposed lung cancer patients to a common, inoffensive microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae, found in soil.

The patients unexpectedly reported increases in their quality of life, including a brighter mood.

The researchers wondered if this effect was caused by stimulation of neurons in the patients' brains that produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical.

Taking the next step, they broke up M. vaccae into fragments with sound waves and injected them into the windpipes of anesthetized mice.

When compared to controls, the mice exposed to M. vaccae had more activity in serotonin-producing neurons and higher levels of serotonin in several areas of the brain.

"[The bacteria] had the exact same effect as antidepressant drugs," Dr. Lowry said.

The scientists said that one might derive dirt's benefit directly by rooting around in a vegetable garden, or by eating lettuce or carrots picked from that garden.

Popular media ran with the findings. "Is Dirt the New Prozac?" asked Discover magazine.

The dirt-and-Prozac connection fits with a recent idea in medicine called the "hygiene hypothesis."

According to this concept, exposure early in life to the bacteria, fungi, and viruses found in common, everyday dirt is necessary to stimulate our immune system.

When children are exposed to the stew of microbes in dirt, their immune systems become stronger.

The immune system also learns to ignore substances like pollen or the dandruff of pets, which can trigger asthma and allergies.

Researchers have shown, for example, that kids who grow up in dirty environments such as farms have a lower incidence of infections, asthma, allergies, and eczema later in life, compared to kids raised in urban environments in which parents try to keep them squeaky clean.

For a century and a half we have waged merciless war on filth through public health measures such as public sanitation systems and water purification programs. These developments have been enormously successful.

The increase in lifespan in modern societies is due largely to the reduction of death rates from diseases such as typhoid and cholera, which in nineteenth-century America were called "filth diseases."

We have to wonder, however, if we have gone too far in our obsession with hygiene.

Throughout our evolutionary history our ancestors lived in intimate contact with dirt, and its influence, we now see, was not all bad.

We evolved in the outdoors, and we are beginning to glimpse the price we are paying for shutting ourselves off from nature.

Don't worry.

Nobody is suggesting that we never bathe or clean our bathrooms.

Neither is it necessary to inject M. vaccae into our windpipe.

If we merely go for a walk in the woods, grub around in our vegetable garden, or weed our flowerbeds, we get a dose of the good bugs simply by inhaling.

"Nature deficiency disorder" has been proposed as a term for the problems we create when we build a wall between the natural world and ourselves.

[end of article excerpt, complete article at this link]
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01-16-2011, 05:32 AM,
#2
RE: Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
Ironically, there is a new book on this called
"Earthing: Most Important Health Discovery Ever?" -- http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=37202

Earthing: The Overlooked "Electroceutical"
http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=A08538EFF4...5FF80A2648

Earthing: Major Antioxidant & The Cool Tools:
http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=7769713047...E58186B44F
* What if the solution is simple & free?: http://www.youtube.com/nv3p
* Choose Freedom & Be the Change: http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=36698
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01-19-2011, 02:44 PM,
#3
RE: Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
It's more than just the microbes inhaled, that's science breaking it into parts, good health and interconnection to nature is holistically good...mind, body and soul. The walking and exercise also help to increase the serotonin, elevating mood and good feelings/emotions...as well as the sensory stimulations colours, natural patterns like in leaves trees or rock shapes, smells, large spaces, eyes can see for long distances, fresh oxygen, sounds plus much much more even innate memory can be triggered when interacting with other species, eg if there's a spider - flight or fight. It's a shame that some mental health facilities don't have large gardens.
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free;
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.
Richard Lovelace, 1649
Reply
01-19-2011, 08:37 PM,
#4
RE: Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
(01-15-2011, 03:15 PM)solar Wrote: "[The bacteria] had the exact same effect as antidepressant drugs," Dr. Lowry said.

How is this a good thing? SSRIs have been proven to be no better than placebos and have quite a few nasty side effects like "suicidal ideation". How can a drug which does no good but causes suicide be called an anti-depressant?

It's time you educated yourself a bit, "Dr." Lowry...

[Image: randquote.png]
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01-20-2011, 12:39 AM,
#5
Bug  RE: Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
You can benefit from exposure to dirt, in a variety of ways. Building immunity, kids used to play in the dirt, there was less 'need' for vaccinations. Also the body is a porus membrane and mineral absobtion occurs.

.. but it's a mixed (dirt) bag, not all bacterium in soil is beneficial to human health.

Exhibit A:

Quote:Tetanus Overview

Tetanus is an infectious disease caused by contamination of wounds from bacteria that live in the soil. The causative bacterium Clostridium tetani is a hardy organism capable of living many years in the soil in a form called a spore.

Tetanus occurs when a wound becomes contaminated with bacterial spores. Infection follows when spores become activated and develop into gram-positive bacteria that multiply and produce a very powerful toxin (poison) that affects the muscles. Tetanus spores are found throughout the environment, usually in soil, dust, and animal waste. The usual locations for the bacteria to enter your body are puncture wounds, such as those caused by rusty nails, splinters, or insect bites. Burns, any break in the skin, and IV drug access sites are also potential entryways for the bacteria Tetanus is acquired through contact with environment; it is not transmitted from person to person.
Full Article: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/tetanus/article_em.htm

I'd be curious to see a quantitative analysis on sand in school parks and playgrounds documenting ever-present bacterium, viruses, chemicals, minerals, compounds etc.. It does beg the question - why do they use sand, does it go beyond getting dirty? I'm probably reading into it too much.

Documentation of health benefits of the entire spectrum of dirt/mud would be welcome too!
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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01-20-2011, 04:08 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-20-2011, 04:11 AM by ZeroCenter.)
#6
RE: Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
guess I'm going to have to put up the Earthing book, with the videos... since nobody has yet seen the most important value of getting 'grounded' (i.e. bare foot to the raw earth).

Does the title of the video raise an eyebrow? What is an "Electroceutical"?
* What if the solution is simple & free?: http://www.youtube.com/nv3p
* Choose Freedom & Be the Change: http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=36698
Reply
01-20-2011, 04:31 AM,
#7
RE: Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
'Grounded' as in ionic discharge outlet. I can speak from personal experience and attest that it works. Maybe not for the same and only reasons as you are hinting at but maybe the connection with nature plays a role in it too. Definitely something to that. Cool to know real science reaffirms the intuition on that one.

Quote:guess I'm going to have to put up the Earthing book, with the videos...

Yes that would be generous of you.


Rubber and polyethylene soles on our shoes don't help promote that grounded feeling. I was considering getting leather shoes. What's with people running on cement or rubberized tracks too.. besides the aggregation of the repetitive trauma to your body, primarily on the joints. There is a tribe in Peru or Paraguay that consists of prolific long distance barefoot runners - anyone recall a book on it, the title escapes me.

I like .. no adore .. walking barefoot in the morning on the grass when it's covered in morning dew. -20C right now makes that a bit prohibitive - alternatives? Turf the basement?

Strange how (the majority of) Americans don't take off their shoes when they enter an abode. For Canadians, at least where I reside, to do that would be pretty high up on the disrespect totem.
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
01-20-2011, 07:55 AM,
#8
RE: Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
(01-20-2011, 04:31 AM)FastTadpole Wrote: 'Grounded' as in ionic discharge outlet. I can speak from personal experience and attest that it works...
I like .. no adore .. walking barefoot in the morning on the grass when it's covered in morning dew. -20C right now makes that a bit prohibitive - alternatives? Turf the basement?...

I really like walking barefoot too and am sure of the tactile, relexology, ionic and other benefits. If it's too cold out I'd suggest walking on rocks smooth or rough or even having a piece of timber to put your feet on when your sitting. Just suggestions Smile
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free;
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.
Richard Lovelace, 1649
Reply
01-20-2011, 07:28 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-20-2011, 10:07 PM by ZeroCenter.)
#9
RE: Get dirty!! -- dirt as healer, dirt as antidepressant
Wouldn't this be cool to learn?
In "David Wolfe Longevity Conference Mar 2010", they had one of the authors of the Earthing book:

"Earthing expert, Clint Ober also demonstrate how to create an electron shield around your body that protects you against electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from computers, appliances, power lines, home wiring, etc. It’s easier than you think!"

http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=37202
* What if the solution is simple & free?: http://www.youtube.com/nv3p
* Choose Freedom & Be the Change: http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=36698
Reply


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