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Immunity system discussion: Everyone is on the toliet.

Kahoku

Forgive Yourself
Kids today with their bottled water and their hand sanitizer.

I still drink water out of a garden hose like we did in high school football practice.

Puts hair on your chest. :V

God forbid they share a seat on the bus and someone sneezes at them. :)
 

Rictus Goat

Pygmy Dope
Oy, people with their obsessive need to over clean and such are the exact reason WHY stuff like constant food poisoning and allergies are such huge issues. People don't have immune systems that are strong enough to fend off little bits of bacteria like they're supposed to- and really, why should they? We have chemicals that do that for us- right? Except for now you've got an elite team of killing cells that have nothing better to do than attack something that causes NO harm to our bodies- like pollen.

There is NO harm in not washing your food like a mad person or not washing your hands forever. Honestly, both my roommates do these things and they are constantly suffering from colds or food poisoning. I, however, hardly get either- I've got myself down to 3 days a years where I get a sinus infection thanks to weather change in the spring or fall.

People these days give their immune system nothing to do- and it's gonna end up bad if they keep it up. The more we fight little harmless germs- the more resistant they are getting to EVERYTHING.
 

Greg

Striata
In my town the water isn't cleaned: it's lightly filtered and then ends up with double the chlorine content of a central city public swimming pool spa. Shit made me vomit at the smell but now I can chug the stuff like it's a vegan's semen.It's part of the reason I'm super healthy.
 

myxini

Primitive Vertebrate
it is true that being exposed to a lot of different things (especially as a kid) makes your immune system stronger. and there's what's called the Hygene Hypothesis, which has pretty good evidence behind it, which is that about 1 generation after a society gets rid of it's internal parasites (mostly intestinal worms), the rate of allergies and autoimmune diseases spikes. They're even testing to see if intentionally giving people harmless worms can cure some of those diseases (pretty good results for crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis). Also for each germ you're exposed to, you end up adding it to your antibody library, so that if you encounter the same germ again later, your body has an easier time fighting it off, and you get less sick. So why did your friends get food poisoning and you didn't? could be a lot of things. might have been luck, and they ate more of whatever the bug was than you did. (like if it was BT food poisoning, if they ate more rice than you did, they'd have worse symptoms). Or you may have encountered that particular strain of salmonella or e.coli before. Or if it was norovirus it may have been on some tiny thing they ate that you didn't, or on the rim of a glass and you were the only one to drink with a straw. There's also the possibility that your gut flora is just particularly dense, and there was no place for the bacteria you ate to find a spot. It also may be due to genetics... for instance, e. coli 0157 produces a toxin that kills human intestinal cells, but is harmless to cattle. so if you don't have the receptor for that toxin, you wouldn't get sick (though if THAT's what your friends got, they'd probably be in the hospital. that stuff is nasty!)
Source: microbiology student and infectious disease nerd
 

BouncyOtter

Member
it is true that being exposed to a lot of different things (especially as a kid) makes your immune system stronger. and there's what's called the Hygene Hypothesis, which has pretty good evidence behind it, which is that about 1 generation after a society gets rid of it's internal parasites (mostly intestinal worms), the rate of allergies and autoimmune diseases spikes. They're even testing to see if intentionally giving people harmless worms can cure some of those diseases (pretty good results for crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis). Also for each germ you're exposed to, you end up adding it to your antibody library, so that if you encounter the same germ again later, your body has an easier time fighting it off, and you get less sick. So why did your friends get food poisoning and you didn't? could be a lot of things. might have been luck, and they ate more of whatever the bug was than you did. (like if it was BT food poisoning, if they ate more rice than you did, they'd have worse symptoms). Or you may have encountered that particular strain of salmonella or e.coli before. Or if it was norovirus it may have been on some tiny thing they ate that you didn't, or on the rim of a glass and you were the only one to drink with a straw. There's also the possibility that your gut flora is just particularly dense, and there was no place for the bacteria you ate to find a spot. It also may be due to genetics... for instance, e. coli 0157 produces a toxin that kills human intestinal cells, but is harmless to cattle. so if you don't have the receptor for that toxin, you wouldn't get sick (though if THAT's what your friends got, they'd probably be in the hospital. that stuff is nasty!)
Source: microbiology student and infectious disease nerd

All of this. I love to see when people know what they are talking about when it's a subject that I enjoy!

I was literally going to post about the Hygiene Theory, but I was beat to the punch.
 

Plantar

Soaked In Sin
When I was little, I used to play around in the dirt for hours. The doctors actually recommended it, after my bouts with pneumonia at 4-5 years old. They said I'd be more susceptible to getting it in the future, but actually recommended to play in the dirt, haven't had it at all since then. Nowadays, I'm rarely sick. I'm not the cleanest or most hygienic person, but I'm rarely sick. I've got no real problems with allergies or getting, just sinus infections, as someone said. I've only been really sick a couple of times within the past 5 years, one of them, having a fever of 102, and the other two times were food poisoning, both from eating at the same place. :I
 

Ad Hoc

THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
I used to be friends with a girl who was obsessively, obnoxiously clean and very careful about food preparation. She never once got a cold or other transmissible illness in the ~5 years that I associated with her.

I live on a homestead and deal with farm animals every day. I don't even want to think about the various things I inhale and ingest more-or-less daily. I still get at least one or two colds a year, and they hit me hard. (Only gotten food poisoning once though.)
 

davimink

Member
It's true, we need a bit of dirt in our lives. When I buy organic (some produce needs to be bought organic) , I just rinse with water. I also source my meat and eat it rare.


Also, "expired" milk and eggs are fine as long as they taste okay, and butter doesn't clog your arteries.
 

BouncyOtter

Member
yay! a fellow microbio/disease nerd!
Have you ever listened to the This Week in Virology/Parasitology/Microbiology podcasts? or the Puscast?
(also I'm terribly excited that I get to stick GFP into e. coli in class on Tuesday)

I can't say I watch them regularly, but I have seen some and found them to be enjoyable.

Out of curiosity what are you tagging with GFP?
 
Same as others said.
Eating dirt is an active vaccine. You get bacteria, you might heal fast without pain, you might suffer and get back on your feet after a long while - the bacteria might bring some serious diseases, though, so I wouldn't suggest eating dirt to strengthen your immune system. Just take yearly vaccinations, and make sure you eat fresh and try to stay clean.
Some bacteria from back then might still be in your body, I presume - and if that happens, it probably is a good time to worry.
 

13Swords

Sgt. Unfriendly
Hm. A study came out recently that said Amish suffer far less from allergies than others do, presumably from their exposure to allergens (or whatever the word is for things people are often allergic to). The immune system is known to be responsive, even if we don't understand how it's responding 100%.

My brother and I never get sick. We played in the mud and ate unwashed potatoes frequently, but other than the occasional deer steak, we didn't get blood frequently. You shouldn't eat raw burger or the blood from burger meat because it's more likely to have bacteria in it than steak, and you should know where your vegetables come from if you're not going to wash them.

You have e coli in your intestines. It's only dangerous in your stomach. So, when workers are out in the field, they don't always have access to toilets. So they crap in the field. Yeah. Wash it if it's from walmart or any other supermarket. But if it's from your grandmother's garden, you're okay.
 

myxini

Primitive Vertebrate
I can't say I watch them regularly, but I have seen some and found them to be enjoyable.

Out of curiosity what are you tagging with GFP?

e. coli. we don't prepare the plasmids or anything, they're purchased already recombined, but we'll be treating the e. coli with some stuff and putting the plasmids into the buffer and the e. coli will take up the plasmids, and then they'll start producing the green fluorescent protein. so... not super technical or high skill, but pretty neat anyway.
 

myxini

Primitive Vertebrate
You have e coli in your intestines. It's only dangerous in your stomach. So, when workers are out in the field, they don't always have access to toilets. So they crap in the field. Yeah. Wash it if it's from walmart or any other supermarket. But if it's from your grandmother's garden, you're okay.

actually most types of e. coli are harmless in your stomach as well, only a few specific strains are dangerous. like there's a variant subspecies called Shigella that produces toxins that it injects into intestinal cells. and e. coli 0157 (the one you typically hear about in the news, though a few other strains are similar) picked up the toxin gene from the shigella species (like it ate some leftover DNA from a dead shigella) and now produces the same toxin, though it can't inject it into cells. but other strains are so weak they'd be harmless to people. they used one of those super-weak strains for the type they use to make insulin, because they don't want to worry about people getting infected with it and overdosing on insulin. (I read a whole book on e. coli, it's very interesting)
 
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