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I have never been a person to use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer even when it was popular. I wasn't ever a mom who was paranoid about every germ when my children were younger. It worked to keep them healthy. My youngest son has only been on antibiotics once and it was because he was exposed to some children with strep throat, and was tested for strep, but never had signs of being sick. Aside from that, my children are very hardy. It is nice to see how the Human Genome Project is showing us how we need to respect those friendly germs and viruses are are allies. Be kind to them, don't kill them off, and they will be kind to you.
This idea isn't new. Weston A.Price researched indigenous groups of people and noticed the the cultures he visited all fermented foods. Fermented foods contain a plethora of microorganisms. The germ theory that dominates modern medicine was first proposed in 1956 by Girolamo Fracastoro, but he was only looking into part of the story. Not realizing that there beneficial bacteria out there too. The great thing about science and research, it is constantly evolving. I imagine that Giralamo would have never guessed that he was right, there are things floating in the air and our bodies that are causing disease. What he would would would probably shocked to find out that those bacteria and viruses out number our human cells 10:1.
The next time you are squeamish about public bathrooms and grab the hand sanitizer, just remember, you are not only killing the bad bacteria and viruses, you are killing the beneficial ones as well. Check out the PBS video, it is a nice representation of what is going on our bodies.
Stephanie is an endurance coach with a passion for motivating people to live healthier.