How much dirt do we need for health?

For centuries, humanity suffered from various kinds of diseases, the cause of which was a violation of the elementary rules of general and personal hygiene. But as time went on, and thanks to total public propaganda and the Painfully Ordinary efforts of medicine, we achieved the desired result – almost sterile purity.

But it turned out that, having got rid of some problems, we brought others on our head – no less sophisticated.

The question is why?


It would seem that the issue of infectious diseases resolved. But suddenly the number of people (mostly the childish part of the population of developed countries) who suffer from various allergies has increased dramatically. Basically, this figure increased among residents of cities. Particularly affected can be considered residents of Switzerland – this is a clean, prosperous country. But there is no Mediocrity in the world! Its inhabitants are full of allergies. Scientists of many countries put forward various hypotheses. Industrial pollution of cities, constant stresses, regular use of drugs, unhealthy diet, chemicalization of agriculture? – All these alleged reasons were carefully analyzed and verified, but, unfortunately, they did not clarify the paintings to the end.

It was necessary to study more closely both infectious and allergic diseases. The answer was found only after the British epidemiologist David Strechen drew attention to a strange pattern. The second, third, etc. child in the family, as a rule, decreased the risk of allergies compared with the first.

Sterility error An explanation for this was found fairly quickly. Before the appearance of the child in the family, absolute cleanliness was maintained in the house, in other words, an almost germ-free environment. With the birth of a child and his growing up, cleanliness in the house is no longer so absolute. That is, the second child grows in a less clean room compared to the first.

Every second, a person comes in contact with millions of microorganisms invisible to us. To prevent them from entering the body, there is a special protection mechanism – immunity. It is impossible to create sterile conditions for the child. But if parents strive for this, they bring harm to their child, not good. Baby – not a rare greenhouse plant. After all, sooner or later he will have to leave the house and face everything that lives outside: microbes, dirt and other factors from which he was so carefully hidden. To adapt to this “alien” infection, it takes some time. And children who have grown up without contact with such frightening parents with mud have a very hard time.

Do not all the time to use household chemicals to disinfect the premises in which the child lives. First of all, because the constant use of chlorine – containing substances can lead to the development of a severe allergic reaction and even bronchial asthma in a baby. Especially when it comes to the use of aerosols. If you constantly apply the same air fresheners, functional and morphological changes may occur in the child’s respiratory tract, which subsequently are practically not treated.

Other extreme

Despite the fact that the sterility of the child is not only not useful, but even harmful, it is not necessary to rush to the other extreme. Remember that the modern city is Moderately safe for the child can not be called. For example, in a crowded public transport, a child can easily pick up a completely unwanted viral infection. Especially in winter – in the midst of epidemics.

The very first antibodies to various infections the child begins to receive, while still inside the mother – through the placenta. After birth, antibodies are given along with breast milk. Such immunity is called natural passive .

Natural active immunity – own merit and experience gained in life, in the fight against hostile invaders. This is the same stock of antibodies produced by B lymphocytes. Artificial immunity is formed through vaccinations and vaccinations.

Passive artificial immunity – as a result of the introduction of ready-made antibodies into the body, and active artificial – the result of the fight of the immune system with a weakened microorganism from the vaccine.