Living Too Clean WHAT PROBIOTICS Can Do During the Current Pandemic
Alternative Medicine|February 2021
We are living in extraordinary times. The pandemic has prompted essential changes in our hygiene routines like social distancing, mask-wearing, and handwashing, but could implementing all of these microbe-phobic practices trigger other health problems? The hyper-clean living efforts we’re implementing to protect ourselves from COVID-19 could be making our body’s natural immune system weaker and also set us up for long-term health problems.
JESSICA TER HAAR, PH.D.

While we try to prevent the spread of the virus by avoiding contact with others around us, the protective bubble we’ve created on top of over sanitization is also preventing regular exposure to microbes. We don’t need to fear all microbes, and unfortunately, many people have forgotten or are unaware that most microbes are vital for optimal health.

If you were to peer into the little world inside us, you would see lots of tiny microbes – some good and some not so good – but all have a function in maintaining balance in our bodies. Bacteria are single-celled microbes that constantly reproduce by cloning themselves (they get lonely!). They reside from our heads to our toes and every place in between. Some microbes actually look like little grapes, lines of soda cans, or even the letter “Y” under a microscope. Fungi are the recyclers of the microbial world because they cannot make all of their own food, so they are the designated nutrient cycles in an ecosystem. Viruses on the other hand are somewhat like zombies. According to scientists, they are neither dead nor living because they need another cell’s machinery to reproduce.

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