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Beware the Dark Side of Disinfecting
Have you been scrambling to get ready for holiday company? If so, here’s an important message for you:
Put down the Clorox and Lysol... And STOP disinfecting every doorknob and countertop…
Why? Because when you use sanitizers and disinfectants, you may THINK you’re creating a clean and safe environment, but in fact, you’re actually doing the exact opposite.
If you want to keep your family and friends (and yourself) healthy, you need to stop disinfecting… or your immune, digestive, and total body health will suffer.
Here are three critical wellness-saving reasons to 86 the 409 (and the majority of common household cleaners)...
Reason #1: Your Immune System Needs Exposure
For most of the time we’ve been on earth, our immune systems have faced constant attacks from bacteria, viruses, and other harmful pathogens… And our bodies have had to learn how to properly deal with all of those threats. That hard won knowledge has helped shape how we’re able to identify and handle germs we’ve previously encountered, and even deal with invaders we’ve NOT yet come up against.
Now, though, people have developed ways to kill off germs before our immune systems come into contact with them. Our homes, businesses, schools, etc are regularly scrubbed and sanitized – especially now – so threats get removed before our immune systems have a chance to analyze and figure them out.
And though eliminating as many germs as possible from your everyday environments seems like it would keep you safer, science is now showing that it can have the opposite effect. According to Just Thrive lead microbiologist, Kiran Krishnan, “your immune system needs to be exposed to all sorts of microbes, good and bad, so it can learn how to function properly.” And most of your immune system is made up of tissue that only gets activated when it’s exposed to microbes.
Without that exposure, your immune system can’t:
- Quickly recognize pathogens
- Distinguish between helpful, harmless, and harmful substances
- Develop the processes it needs to fight germs
- Function effectively in the face of contagions
To develop and maintain a strong, healthy, experienced immune system, it needs to face a wide variety of microbes. And for that to happen, you need to get dirty… Literally.
Studies show that kids who play in dirt and spend time in green spaces have more robust immune systems than children with more sanitary play areas. Children who play in dirt have increased crucial immune markers in their systems. They also have healthier, more diverse gut bacteria, which can profoundly influence immune function.
Reason #2: Your Immune System Gets Bored
Sterile environments – like constantly disinfected kitchens and bathrooms – don’t give your immune system enough of a challenge. And when your immune system doesn’t face any natural environmental threats, it doesn’t just stop working… and ultimately looks for threats in other places…
A “bored, ” immune system can start to lose its ability to properly identify real threats, and instead starts seeing enemies everywhere. Even worse, it will start attacking those supposed enemies as if they were deadly pathogens.
Suddenly your immune system might start reacting to things like food, pollen, and your own bodily tissues. When that happens, you’re at risk for developing allergies or autoimmune conditions such as:
- Hay fever
- Food allergies
- Celiac disease or gluten intolerance
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Here’s the bottom line: Your immune system needs the right training to know when – and what – to attack. It learns and takes its cues from your environment, but that’s only part of the process. Guess which system is responsible for parsing through, “digesting” and then actioning on all that info?
Reason #3: Your Immune System Needs A Diverse Gut Microbiome
Good health depends on a healthy gut microbiome, chock full of a diverse population of beneficial bacteria.
Your gut microbiome, and its near-infinite number of microbes, has an enormous impact on your immune system. It’s the helpful bacteria living in your gut that’s responsible for teaching your immune system how to identify and defend against harmful invaders… and how to tell the difference between friends and foes.
The gut microbiome also supports immune system balance. When facing a threat, your immune system needs to mount a strong enough reaction to keep you safe... but then also have the awareness to cease fire when the threat has passed. In fact, knowing when to shut off and stop reacting is equally as important to your health as knowing when to launch an attack! (This is known as a balanced immune response - No under reacting, no over resting.)
To get the right training, your immune system relies on cues from a highly diverse population of beneficial probiotic bacteria in your gut microbiome. That education helps the immune system tolerate unfamiliar things that aren’t harmful, like common allergens, so it doesn’t respond unnecessarily.
But when your gut microbiome falls out of balance, and populations of bad bacteria crowd out and dominate the good bacteria, the wrong lessons get taught to your immune system. Plus, that overgrowth of harmful bacteria can create its own set of problems.
Unfortunately, many types of bad bacteria develop resistance to sanitizers and disinfectants… while beneficial bacteria typically don’t. Research shows that some pathogens have developed resistance to hospital disinfectants, including alcohol-based sanitizers.
So, disinfecting countertops and other surfaces can actually give an advantage to pathogens... while killing off the probiotic bacteria you need to support healthy immune function.
To keep your beneficial bacteria and immune system focused and prepared, put down the disinfectant and pick up high-quality gut support. Because a balanced, diverse gut microbiome is one of your best allies in supporting healthy immune function.
Keep Your Gut Microbiome Diverse and Healthy with Just Thrive
A well-balanced, highly diverse gut microbiome holds the key to optimal immune system support. That’s why you need to support your gut microbiome with Just Thrive Probiotic.
Just Thrive Probiotic contains four clinically studied strains of spore probiotics including:
Support your gut microbiome and your immune system with Just Thrive Probiotic.