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    Live Dirty! ~ bacteria and your health

    We need to stop sanitizing everything and let bacteria back in our lives
    By Joselin Linder August 20, 2016 | 12:04pm

    Dr. Jack Gilbert wants to make our hospitals dirty.

    His idea runs counter to hundreds of years of scientific practice. Since a surgeon named Joseph Lister became the first to use antiseptic techniques in 1867 and save thousands of lives, modern medicine has worked tirelessly to create sterile medical environments free of micro-organisms.

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    It all changed when Dr. Gilbert, associate director of the Institute for Genomic and Systems Biology at Argonne National Laboratory, began studying dolphins in 2014. He noticed that the animals were much healthier the dirtier the aquarium water was.

    We saw the benefit in increasing the microbial diversity of the home, explained Gilbert. According to Dr. Gilbert, the lack of a rich microbial ecosystem, especially in our hospitals, might be causing more harm than good, leading to drug resistant strains of powerful superbugs and infection-causing viruses.

    Science writer Ed Yong agrees with Dr. Gilbert, featuring him in his book, I Contain Multitudes, which tries to change our minds about bacteria. Yong points outs that there are more bacteria in your gut than there are stars in our galaxy, and of these fewer than 100 species of bacteria compromise our health. The rest, which coexist in and among us, arent just harmless they protect us and make us who we are.

    Every square inch of space contains billions of microbes even seemingly desolate landscapes of Arctic ice or Saharan sand. Before humans, microbes were the only stuff of life on Earth.

    Microbes, a microorganism almost always invisible to the naked eye, have spent 90 percent more time here than we have, invisibly evolving for millions of years. Instead of evolving alongside them, we joined forces with them in what scientists call co-development. We cannot live without the microbes we host.

    Microbes not only impact the shape of many of our organs, they replace dying and damaged cells and help our bodies absorb and store nutrients and fat. Plants, animals and humans would die without these lifelong microbial hitchhikers.

    Some animals begin developing with microbes from inception. Humans first make contact with theirs in the birth canal. From that moment forward, microbes help bolster our immune systems, helping our bodies learn to live with viral diseases that enter our bloodstream.

    On its own, human milk is filled with a unique substance that for some reason, babies cant digest without the help of the delicate microbiome they develop in their guts.

    Pets in the household alter microbiomes even further, for both better and worse although studies have shown that dogs, who come with their own set of allergy-suppressing microbes, are the most beneficial to a households microbial health, helping to strengthen the immune systems of its children.

    In some cases, microbes are simultaneous deadly and healing. C. diff, an infectious illness caused by an imbalance of otherwise healthy bacteria attacking the lining of the small and large intestines, can cause death. The condition, unless treated early, will eat through the lining of the digestive tract.

    Recently, a cure with a success rate of 94 percent during its test phase was found in a very unlikely place: the toilet. The treatment? A fecal transplant, where healthy donor stool is placed inside the gastrointestinal tract of C. diff sufferers to reestablish a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. It now comes in pill form.

    A trend that has passed less muster in the scientific community is the eating of live-culture yogurts and consuming probiotics as a way to balance our own microbiomes. Studies are showing simply consuming healthy bacteria isnt the answer. The goal cant just be adding microbes, it has to be finding a way to nurture and sustain them.

    In 2008, a group of villagers believed to have spent 11,000 years in isolation, were spotted in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest. In 2015, scientists discovered that thousands of years of seclusion had left them with the most diverse microbiomes they had ever seen. Scientists concluded their microbial diversity was further proof that the battles waged against germs in the industrialized world had worked a little too well. Those of us living in modern cities, towns and villages had destroyed so much of the healthy microscopic life that belonged in our bodies, it had rendered our own microbiomes comparatively deficient.

    This isnt to say that pioneers of microbial research like Joseph Lister were wrong to employ hygienic practices. Incalculable lives have been saved thanks to antiseptics and antibiotics treatments.

    However, the overuse of antibiotics and antiseptic cleaners is impacting our ability to maintain a balance of healthy microbes in our bodies and environments. Studies continue to prove that harmful species will exploit areas with too few good bacteria to fight back. Sterility should not be our goal.

    As Yong writes, A diverse ecosystem is better than an impoverished one.

    http://nypost.com/2016/08/20/we-need...-in-our-lives/

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    Re: Live Dirty! ~ bacteria and your health

    Feature: From deep in Peru’s rainforests, isolated people emerge
    By Andrew LawlerJun. 4, 2015 , 2:00 PM

    ALONG THE CURANJA RIVER, PERU—At first the signs were subtle. A banana tree was stripped of ripe fruit. Papaya and watermelon vanished. A machete went missing. Clothes hanging off a scarecrow disappeared.

    The indigenous villagers who hunt and farm manioc in small clearings here already knew they were not alone. The oldest among them remember growing up naked and on the move, living off the bounty of the Amazon rainforest. But their cousins who remained in the jungle typically avoided all contact with outsiders.

    Now, the villagers along the muddy banks of the Curanja River, which snakes for 200 kilometers through the rainforest of eastern Peru, are reporting not just signs of the mysterious forest people, but frequent sightings and even raids. “Since 2011, there have been regular incidents with the naked ones,” says Delicia Roque Samuel, 42, speaking in her native Huni Kuin language through an interpreter. Last year, women watched strangers take bananas from their gardens, and a girl picking lemons saw a naked man across the river, motioning her to come with him. When villagers all along the river canoed downstream to vote in regional elections last October, people in three villages returned to find their houses ransacked by isolated people who had previously avoided contact.

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    Isolated tribes' territory lies far up the Curanja River in the remote Peruvian Amazon.
    Isolated tribes' territory lies far up the Curanja River in the remote Peruvian Amazon.
    Jason Houston
    Feature: From deep in Peru’s rainforests, isolated people emerge
    By Andrew LawlerJun. 4, 2015 , 2:00 PM
    ALONG THE CURANJA RIVER, PERU—At first the signs were subtle. A banana tree was stripped of ripe fruit. Papaya and watermelon vanished. A machete went missing. Clothes hanging off a scarecrow disappeared.

    The indigenous villagers who hunt and farm manioc in small clearings here already knew they were not alone. The oldest among them remember growing up naked and on the move, living off the bounty of the Amazon rainforest. But their cousins who remained in the jungle typically avoided all contact with outsiders.

    Now, the villagers along the muddy banks of the Curanja River, which snakes for 200 kilometers through the rainforest of eastern Peru, are reporting not just signs of the mysterious forest people, but frequent sightings and even raids. “Since 2011, there have been regular incidents with the naked ones,” says Delicia Roque Samuel, 42, speaking in her native Huni Kuin language through an interpreter. Last year, women watched strangers take bananas from their gardens, and a girl picking lemons saw a naked man across the river, motioning her to come with him. When villagers all along the river canoed downstream to vote in regional elections last October, people in three villages returned to find their houses ransacked by isolated people who had previously avoided contact.

    Samuel, who lives in the small settlement of Nueva Vida, points to one side of her thatched hut. “They broke this wall, entered, and took pots, pans, clothes, mosquito nets, and hammocks. … We are scared now to go very far, and I've planted a garden closer to my house.”

    The villagers empathize with their forest-dwelling cousins and say the isolated people “harvest” rather than “steal” goods. But their patience is wearing thin. “The next time,” warns Nolso Torres Prado, head of a village that was abandoned entirely after the October raids, “I will kill them.”

    The tension extends beyond this remote corner of eastern Peru. A surge in sightings and raids in both Peru and Brazil may be a sign that some of the world's last peoples living outside the global economy are emerging. “No one knows what is happening” within these groups, says Francisco Estremadoyro, director of the Lima-based nonprofit Pro-Purús, which promotes sustainable development in the region. “But there is no question that this is a historic moment.”

    Centuries of history show how contact can go wrong. The events along the Curanja are the last, lingering echoes of the collision of cultures that began in 1492, in which an estimated 50 million to 100 million native people perished and entire cultures vanished. Now, anthropologists and officials wonder if they can minimize the human toll of this final act. Lacking immunity to common pathogens and requiring large tracts of intact forest for food, medicines, and materials, the isolated tribes “are some of the world's most vulnerable people,” says Beatriz Huertas, an anthropologist based in Lima who has extensively studied the groups.

    The primary danger is disease transmitted by outsiders such as loggers, miners, missionaries, drug traffickers, and even television crews. These groups threaten tribes and the rainforest on which they depend in other ways, too. In some instances, outsiders have violently attacked isolated peoples. Even well-intentioned gifts like a flashlight—which requires toxic batteries and transforms the night—may disrupt traditional ways of life.

    Read more here: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/...-people-emerge

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    Re: Live Dirty! ~ bacteria and your health

    Hi

    I have been saying the same thing my entire life. the over use of antibiotics and hand sanitizers and obsession with destroying all bacteria has done more harm in the long run then good.

    the best defense against infections is your own immune system but when you have destroyed it by over doing the cleanliness thing then you are much more likely to get sick and to have a harder time getting rid of illness IMO

    I'm not saying live in a pig sty but a little dirt never hurt anyone.

    Thailand wants to cut the use of over the counter antibiotics by 50% ASAP

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    Re: Live Dirty! ~ bacteria and your health

    Quote Originally Posted by Susana View Post
    Before humans, microbes were the only stuff of life on Earth.
    I'm pretty sure that is not true, or do they classify the dinosaurs etc. as microbes?

    David

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