You’re Too Clean, and It’s Messing With Your Immune System
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You’re Too Clean, and It’s Messing With Your Immune System

Washing your hands may be the best way to
keep from getting sick, but in some ways, DIRT does a body good. We’ve all been taught that dirt is bad for
us. In my Grandmother’s house “Cleanliness
was next to Godliness” and everything was scrubbed clean and disinfected, but now with
new research on the superpowers of the microbiome it may be time to rethink our relationship
with filth. You may think dirt and soil are interchangeable,
(they are both a grainy collection of minerals, oils, water, and organic matter.) BUT soil stays in your backyard while dirt
is what follows you back into your house. BOTH have microbes. Germ theory tells us that these microbes can
infect our bodies and make us sick, but we are starting to understand that in our haste
to eliminate and defend against disease we may have unintentionally “protected” ourselves
against the collaborative relationships we need most. Yes, over exposure to some microorganisms
will make us sick, but of the thousands of species and up to 6lbs (yes POUNDS of bacteria
that are living in and on our bodies RIGHT NOW some are critical for our health and happiness. The bacteria that live in our bodies, sometimes
called our microbiome, help us digest food, respond to pathogens, and may even influence
our moods. Getting dirty once in a while can help repopulate
“friendly” bacteria that have been killed off or washed away by our hygiene practices. Commonly, we’re taught to clean ourselves
thoroughly to prevent illness *but* we could be killing off too much good bacteria. Studies show that we need exposure to both
friendly and unfriendly bacteria to maintain health and a strong immune system. Some exposure to disease causing pathogens
early in life, helps to build our body’s defences keeping us healthy as adults. When our body “fights” a disease, it is
activating immune cells in response to a remembered disease agent. The Hygiene Hypothesis suggests that the right
amount of exposure to germs and dirt builds our body’s library of known diseases, and
teaches our immune system to remember which microbes, proteins, and viruses are dangerous. Without this training, our immune system may
become hyperactive, looking for diseases to fight and it may find innocuous aspects of
our own biology instead. When the body attacks itself, it can cause
autoimmune disorders such as asthma and Inflammatory Bowel Disorder. An example of this was seen in a study of
germ-free mice that had been raised in a sterile environment. The mice were compared to normal mice living
in a microbe rich environment. The germ-free mice were found to have several
immune disorders such as inflammation of the lungs and colon which resemble human asthma
and colitis. These conditions were caused by hyperactivity
of a type of immune cell that had been previously linked to these diseases in both mice and
humans. Most importantly, the researchers discovered
that exposing the germ-free mice to microbes when they were babies, led to development
of a regular immune response and proper defense against disease. So, playing in the dirt as a kid is good for
you and adults it’s not too late! Put that hand sanitizer away, go hiking, pet
that dog, explore different environments and all that good bacteria. GET MESSY! Remember, in our haste to make our living
conditions more sterile, we may be making ourselves sick. Do you want to build a new website without
getting your hands dirty? Try! Domain dot com is awesome, affordable, reliable,
and have all the tools you need to build a new website. They can fulfill all your website needs. They offer dot com and dot net domain names,
and intuitive website builders. They have over three hundred domain extensions
to fit your needs, from dot club to dot space, to dot pizza! Take that first step in creating an identity
online and visit domain dot com. Hey all, love science in your day? Make sure you subscribe and check out some
of these microbes living in the driest place on earth on our sister show, Science in the
Extremes Fun fact: If you’re craving dirt, you might
be pregnant! The desire to eat dirt is called geophagy,
and it is commonly observed in children and pregnant women. Weird! Thanks for watching Seeker.


  • balamstudios

    when you mentioned pounds I stopped listening to try and put it in international metric system, you know? the system of measurement that is used by the entire planet except for 2 countries? yes, that one. Please use it.

  • TheHurt Fan

    Hand sanitiser is very bad for you. Our skin immediately absorbs all the chemicals, cleaning your insides. Gross!

  • Nebulana

    Played outside…played in dirt. Only wash hands if I get something specifically on them or after the restroom. Shower once every 3 days(except in extreme circumstances from exercising or working hard ,etc). I get sick maybe once every 3 or 4 years, max. .

  • Element of Kindness

    HA! I've said this for over 30 years now!
    Always made fun of my childhood friend, who would always run to get cleaned up after the tiniest scratch or scrape.
    I've always theorized that using Neosporin is counter productive to one's immune system.
    I see those people wiping down their shopping carts with an alcohol wipe, and just laugh.
    And the whole medical mask fad you see nowadays, don't even get me started!

  • Federico Jimbo Smithson

    time will come that we don't have to do this. We will have to program our cells what it needs to do..

  • Jason Lim

    so the Japanese who are notorious about cleanliness have more health problems and shorter lifespans than the rest of the world… dunno about that.

  • Captain Kuijt

    Solution: shower using nothing but water. Wash your hands with soap.
    Keeps your immune system happy and you'll save some money too!

  • Heliarc Master

    Yep. My mom and dad would always let me eat dinner on the floor with my plate when 1 or 2 years old.
    Everyone did back in the early 90s.
    It was known to strengthen young childrens immune systems by allowing them to do that!!

    Put your kid in a clean room and you're gonna have a sick kid growing up and the time!!

  • Thomas PC

    Just remember, if you live in a sterile environment, you'll HAVE TO live in a sterile environment. I've been preaching this for many years.

  • Mers Dragon

    go India, diarrhea will come to you instead you go out, go China, you need to make sure everything you eat is real…how is that training for your immune system

  • Paul L

    You guys did such an opposite video 3 years ago hahahahaha. Seriously just keep kicking out content with no critical thinking process before hand. Bunch of double digit iq millenials thinking they are more.

  • Angel Emmanuel Perez Muniz

    I couldn't concentrate in the second half of the video after noticing Freddie Mercury in the T shirt. That was hilarious.

  • Lemonz1989

    I played outside in the dirt, had a lot of pets (dog, bunnies, birds, chinchilla, frogs, fish, hamsters) and went hiking… I still developed autoimmune diabetes as age 14 (type 1 diabetes)… -_-

  • Mirahhh

    I bet my great immune system is from my Norwegian kindergarten , they basically just let us run around in the woods eating berries, drinking spring water and climbing trees unsupervised.
    First now I realize letting kids run around in the woods alone isn’t a good idea..

  • TheFourthWinchester

    People are stupid. As a kid, I used to eat dirt. Its actually too good for the immune system if we play in nature and generally outside and get hurt doing kid stuff without parental supervision as kids. Also getting too many immunity shots will wreak havoc in life.

  • jeff palima

    my mom should see this, she always forces me to take a bath everyday and threatens to cut our wifi if I won't.

  • Event Hʘriךּon

    I know its not fair of me to think this, but i never understood people with allergies to pollen and dust. like, didnt you eat dirt when you were little?! I grew up with cats too, so that helped i guess.

  • Jacqueline Smith-Jackson


    That’s how infections like the flu spread. This sounds cheesy and this sounds like crap ?.

    There are other infections that can spread like tuberculosis. I don’t believe anything that this video has to say.

  • Alex Nunn

    Don't use this as a excuse not to wash your hands!
    The visual and wording at 1:18 was a poor choice. People NEED to keep their hands clean or diseases will spread rampantly like they did hundreds of years ago. Your hands touch things everyone else's hands touch (door knobs, money, toilet handles, etc…). Clean hands mean those surfaces are limited in how many bad bacteria and viruses are on them. If your hands are filthy with all manner of different germs, then those with weak immune systems (children and the elderly) are likely to get sick.
    Get dirty and help your immune system get strong, but don't spread germs to those whose immune systems aren't. Wash your hands!

    But also don't go nuts and wash your hands like you're about to perform surgery, they don't need to be 100% sterile. Just some attempt to clean yourself after using the bathroom, after doing something dirty, or before cooking food is all I ask.

  • wcdeich4

    The "hygiene hypothesis"cannot explain all cases. Some people like me grew up playing in the dirt & still came out w/ a lot of allergies.

  • Adam Smith

    I personally hate the clean freaks who constantly wash or sanitize their hands over the littlest thing. Maybe I should show them this video.

  • Mikes Science

    YES! I’ve been saying this for years. It’s the same reason kids raised on a farm generally have a better immune system than city kids.

  • Brandon Wood

    I’ve been saying this for years. We evolved in a dirty world. Studies on hunter gatherer tribes show that our ancestors, if they lived past infancy, would go on to live very long and healthy lives, with exception of violent death and predation: … it’s about exposure and adaptation, on top of diet and lifestyle. We are not evolutionarily designed to be germiphobes. The human body is tougher than people give it credit for!

  • Katrina Hockman

    Great video, but I must say I am very, very distracted by the shirt. Thank you for my new favorite science joke.

  • Primal

    I knew this would be a thing: like many generations that constantly take antibiotics for any little thing, after generations of doing that they will die from simple bacteria without antibiotic pills because their bodies evolved to not need those antibiotics because they always get it from an outside source.. we are killing the future of ourselves and our world

  • Amy Sternheim

    Play outside, great. My father grew up in NYC during the 30s and 40s and He played outside. He had and still has asthma. Majority of buildings were heated with coal.
    Playing outside is not a cure for a good immune system, but one thing we can do to strengthen it like vaccines.

  • nya

    Actually… I've been taught that dirt is super important to play with / be exposed to as a child. Natural immunity

  • Abel Arredondo

    I’m a dirty ass mother flower, I sail across the ocean, up and down the coast and work like a beast. The ocean water works well to keep you clean. Just a salty mofo

  • Manual Control

    "emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness, and God is empty just like me" – Zero by Smashing Pumpkins

  • David Allen

    I remember playing in the dirt and mud when I was young. It was somewhat isolating, and the drawing in the dirt that I tended to do then did frequently get me into trouble, but this video proves that it was worth it.

  • Tru1ne

    I believe this because I used to live alone I didnt get sick for 5 years, I work from home as well.
    I recently moved in a condo 2 1/2 months ago and let people move in since I have extra space. I was sick 2x with respiratory infection and had a sore throat 3x within 6 weeks, plus sinus headaches.

    Now my doc is telling me I might have allergies, never had allergies in my life. I was thinking its mold spores in the air or something, but the landlord claims its not ? Im getting an allergy test soon.
    I already had CT scan to check sinus and Chest xray to make sure it wasnt pneumonia or something.

    I havent had a cold for the last couple weeks but sometimes I do have sinus headaches or a little clear mucas in my nose/post nasil drip, and I never used to have this. Its like my body is fighting whatever its in the air irritating me.

    But no itchy eyes or throat, Ive never had that, which is why I dont think I have allergies ??‍♂️

  • Th3Wick3dOn3

    I wish, I would have known this as a child but I didnt. I developed a messed up inmune system that attacks me. Now its all injections every week to stop the inmune dissorder.

  • sue lane

    There's got to be a happy medium., with out going back to being covered in grime. Unfortunately the companies selling disinfectants and hand gels won't be happy, but it would be better for the environment.

  • Napster2002 . aspx

    This is why I shower once every other day, not every day. If I shower exactly every day, my skin gets way too dry

  • Mike Fu

    Clean people are always getting sick the Most!…..Bums living out of shopping cart, sleeping next to a dumpster, NEVER a problem!

  • Film animated

    Ok then i will play in the lake that has parasites, i guess it will work the same with germs.

    (Gets killed by parasites)

  • Michelle Giacalone

    I was one of those old school kids who was always running around in the woods and eating anything that grew on a tree, and I almost never get sick. I can see this.

  • James Gray

    This is why so many millennials get sick easily and are allergic to fucking everything. LET YOUR KIDS PLAY OUTSIDE IN THE (gasp!) DIRT!

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