Dirt for the immune is beneficial, especially for children. When people are introduced to bacteria from a young age, they develop a more robust immune system than those living in sterile households.
Healthy Children Become Healthy Adults
Did you ever think about the health of your parents and grandparents? Most of them were and are firm and do not have so many allergies to cats, dust, or pollen. Why does it happen? A few decades ago, people were not so crazy about sanitary conditions. They ate apples from trees or picked from the ground. Nobody washed strawberries or vegetables. The visible dirt was removed from food, and it is all. They ate it without consequences.
In cities, people got more problems compared to in the countryside. However, children who had contact with dogs and played with dirt anywhere developed a more robust immune system compared with their well-being than it is now.
Dirt For Immune System Is Good
Having contact with the soil keeps the immune system more vital. The immune system can adapt. When exposed to various microorganisms, the immune system becomes more robust. Significantly children benefit from it. Exposure to farm animals and multiple plants reduces the risk to become allergic.
The authors of Dirt Is Good to recommend parents let children play in the dirt. I can imagine how it can be scary for moms who carry unique napkins to protect children from germs.
The sterile environment is suitable for labs, not for the real world. To prepare for various encounters with germs immune system must be ready for it.
The immune system develops a protective mechanism during its lifetime. Primarily, it is essential for children. Here is an excerpt from the book Dirt Is Good written by Jack Gilbert, Ph.D., and Rob Knight, Ph.D.:
One way to ensure that your baby or toddler will be able to control inflammation is to expose them to a diverse bacterial world. This exposure trains their immune system to identify self versus nonself, and it also increases the chance that they’ll have bacteria that help keep inflammation in check.
Living in a world that exposes you to various bacteria is helpful for the immune system. Children benefit the most. The immune system expects microbes to come in. Having them around, children get more robust because the immune system develops continuously. The clean air, contact with farm animals, and soil can help build a strong immune system. It works for adults too.