The Dirt on Dirt

Ogi Ressel, DC


You are wondering why such a zany title. After all, you hate dirt. As a matter of fact, so does your family, friends and the vast majority of North Americans. We are obsessed with dirt and the unclean.


How many of you take off your shoes when entering the house? Look at a glass before drinking from it? Wash your hands compulsively? Wear a hospital gown to hold your newborn? It has more bacteria on it than your infant! Why do we do this?


We have been taught that germs are bad. That one can get germs from anything and everything. That germs should be eradicated, wiped out and killed. That no mercy should be shown. We then pass this sterile obsession onto our children and the myth of cleanliness is propagated.


This mentality is causing our own demise. More authorities are convinced that everyday dust and even dirt is actually good for you. Our health is based on a properly functioning nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system. The new science connecting these components is called, psychoneuro-immunology. Many feel that the immune system and the nervous system are one and the same. This new science investigates the relationships between these systems and how they integrate and interact together for the health and well being of the individual.


Bart Classen MD, of Classen Immunotherapies in Maryland, a vaccine researcher, says that the immune system of today's child is in serious trouble. He thinks that because of our search for cleanliness and sterility, our immune system is no longer being exercised as it has been in the past. These thoughts are echoed by Steve Marini DC, PhD, a chiropractor and immunologist, Philip Incao MD and coutless others.


More scientists are realizing that most childhood diseases are innocuous and are there in order to exercise a young immature immune system. You probably think that a child having measles or chickenpox is terrible. Not so. These diseases actually teach the immune system how to deal with the myriad of viruses and bacteria.


In fact, Howard Weiner, a prominent Harvard immunologist, thinks that our vaccination program actually skews the activity of the immune system, making our children more susceptible to more serious complications later in life. In these situations, such an immune system will not be able to deal as effectively with a bacterial or viral invasion because it has never had to try.


I tell my patients that even the common cold and flu has a place; they teach the immune system how to fight! Just because you feel sick when you have the flu doesn't mean you are. It simply means your body is doing exactly what it has been programmed to do. This is not sickness. This is an expression of health! I'm not saying that you have to like it, but ultimately it's for your own benefit. To circumvent this system is not in your best interests.


There are a number of supplements I can recommend which increase the function of the immune system:

  1. Vitamin B complex and Manganese
  2. Pycnogenol
  3. Vitamin A plus carotenoids
  4. Zinc and copper
  5. Bovine colostrum
  6. Garlic
  7. Amino acids (L-arginine, L-cysteine, L-lysine)

Some of these need to be taken in restricted quantities, so be aware.


So-don't be so fastidious. Let some dirt into your life. You'll be a healthier person for it.



Kids First, Ogi Ressel, DC. 

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