Are We Facing A Sterile Future?
When we were kids, some of my fondest memories were rolling down a grassy hill, slinging mudballs at my sister and eating snow (well, not the yellow or dirty snow!). Now everything is antibacterial, kids live in sterile capsules and we are constantly washing everything in sight. We even judge other cultures by their cleanliness more than anything else. But is this reducing our ability to combat what we are exposed to? Recently a study pointed out that the number of strains of bacteria that inhabit our gut has diminished substantially in the past 50 years. There is less diversity, which means that our gut is open to more infection by antagonistic species such as Candida Albicans (yeast), E-Coli and even worse! Our species is becoming less diverse as a whole because we are encouraging equality, meaning equal living style, and potentially reducing not only our diversity, but our uniqueness and our bredth of immunity (Is that a word? Well if it isn't, you know what I mean.).
When I travel, I often come across huge warnings in bold, capitalized, red letters intended to notify me of the danger of various things I could be exposed to. In Egypt, kids were swimming in the Nile, but we were told to not even dip our toe in it because they had immunity based on this environment, while our pristine bodies had never seen such malicious infectious diseases as were swarming just a foot away. In India, thousands of people were doing morning ablutions (now that really is a word, I swear!), even drinking the Ganga water, but we were safely tucked inside our boat drifting by. Now to be honest, I don't think I would have wanted to swim in the Ganga (Ganges for you non-Indians) just to avoid the remains of the crematorium just up-stream, which was really just a Hindu human barbeque pit in the mud on the banks of the river.
I know that I've expressed my concern before at the sheer volume of people who are entering our door with fertility challenges. Why is it so difficult for so many couples to conceive? People used to have so many children they could have a football team. Now couples are struggling for years just to have one child. I honestly believe that the toxic load we carry not only burdens our body systems, preventing conception, but it also destroys many of our cellular defensive systems, such as our gut bacteria.
Simply taking probiotics is NOT the answer. That is great in the short-term, but you have to be able to inspire your body to create more of its own gut bacteria. You have built-in systems, such as the appendix, that secrete your own unique strains of immune bacteria. Your diet, your toxic load and your stress all conspire to kill off your immune ability, making you less resistant to infection, and giving you less to pass on to your offspring. Just take the word "offspring" - basically your child is springing off of your cellular health, your immunity, your genetic history.
It is important to challenge the body in small amounts throughout our lives which keeps our immunity "exercised". But to assault the body with daily chemicals, toxins, fake foods, is to continually stress the same systems over and over. This doesn't just challenge immunity, it destroys cells at an alarming rate, virtually wiping out some of our genetic uniqueness. We need to maintain our immune system's flexibility. As my grandfather would say, don't put all your eggs in one basket! Just think about how important your uniquess is, your genetic imprint. The drive for world equality may be subtly undermining our future and even the future of our species. I don't want the day to come where having children is something that only a few can experience.