A lively debate has been underway about the use of antibacterial soaps. Namely, some studies argue that daily use of antibacterial soaps may lead to increase the number of people suffering from asthma and allergies precisely due to the sterile environment these people live in.
As it is known, certain bacteria are “necessary” for normal functioning of our immune system, since without them our body overreacts even to everyday things one can hardly avoid like dust and pollen, which cause allergies.
Experts agree this overreaction influences our brain also because it has difficulties in producing “the happiness hormone”– serotonin, and that can lead to depression.
Also, the experts emphasize that the number of people affected by depression is far bigger in developed countries than in the developing world with poor hygiene habits. Moreover, they believe depression contributes to a deterioration of the immune system. For instance, if we have been exposed to a greater number of germs during our childhood, i.e. haven’t been living in some sterile environment, it is more likely that our body will learn how to protect itself against inflammation upon pathogen invasion.
Nowadays people have become obsessed with destroying the microbes to such an extent we have forgotten to “instruct” our own immune system how to prevent the simplest pathogens from causing the infection. It’s a kind of vicious cycle that may manifest in things like overreactions to pollen but hormone induced anxiety as well. For this reason, it is high time we start listening to nature but in harmony with our body.
Translation: G. Dujmović