THE MORNING SHOW
Marie-Claire Arrieta, Ph.D.
Co-Author ofLet Them Eat Dirt:Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World
In the 150 years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we’ve battled to keep them at bay. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to our children’s well-being. It turns out that our current emphasis on hyper-cleanliness and poor diets are taking a toll on our children’s lifelong health.
This engaging and important book explains how the millions of microbes that live in our bodies influence childhood development; why an imbalance in those microbes can lead to obesity, diabetes, and asthma, among other chronic conditions; and how–from conception on–parents can take concrete steps to positively impact their child’s long-term health. The authors delve into the role of microbes in everything from pregnancy nutrition and birthing methods to choices about feeding and lifestyle (“Should we have a pet?” “Should I give my child an antibiotic and a probiotic?” “Should I let him/her play with a friend who’s ill?”).
Based on the best scientific literature published to date —including the authors’ cutting-edge work— this book will change the way you view dirt and food, and empower you to give your kids a healthier start in life.
Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD, trained in the Finlay lab and is now an assistant professor at the University of Calgary in Canada. She has been studying intestinal microbiology and immunology for the past 10 years. Her recent study connecting asthma in very young babies to missing key intestinal bacterial species was deemed a breakthrough in the field and was reported by dozens of news outlets around the world in 2015. Arrieta has been published in leading scientific journals such as Gastroenterology, PNAS, and Science Translational Medicine. She spends her busy days juggling between experiments, science writing, kindergarten pick-ups, and play dates for her two young children.
-Recommended to continue basic hygiene habits like washing hands but avoid sanitizing overkill.
-Giving antibiotics to babies and children detrimentally affects their future health. Killing off their microbes makes them susceptible to asthma, allergy and obesity in later childhood.
-Microbes affect how we store energy, use calories, and experience emotions.
-Children are oversanitized. More exposure to dirt in the countryside would be helpful.
-Most antibiotics are given to animals to increase their weight, not for sickness.
-Highest antibiotic intake correlates with highest obesity rates. When given the same diet, people’s microbiome determines if they gain or lose weight.
-Children’s microbiome are new and fragile and do not rebound after being given antibiotics. Adult microbiome is more resilient.
-Marie-Claire recommends washing vegetables and fruits from commercial sources, but not necessarily if they’re grown in home gardens.
-Having exposure to dogs but not cats is beneficial to the development of a healthy microbiome in babies and children.
-If given antibiotics, taking probiotics during and after is helpful, as well as eating a high fiber diet, to maximize the microbiome.
-Probiotics are not regulated. Buyer beware. LetThemEatDirt.com has a list of probiotics that have been proven helpful.
-Breast milk has helpful microbes and also carbohydrates that can only be metabolized by the microbes in the baby’s gut.
How helpful are soil based strains? How about b. subtillus?
-Fecal transplants shown to be 95% effective for c. diff infections. Feces material needs to be screened – fecal transplants should not be a DIY project.
-Would glyphosates have an impact on our microbiome?
-Are antibiotics a good idea for mothers in labor that test positive for group B streptococcus?
-Are fermented foods helpful?
-Different foods have differential effects on the microbiome. Leeks are especially good.
-Better probiotics are under development.
-Most ear infections are viral and not helped by antibiotics. Some pediatricians are practicing a wait and see approach to determine if it’s bacterial before giving antibiotics.
-Probiotics recommended during and after antibiotics.
-Is the appendix a storehouse of good microbes?
-Hospitals are a cradle for infection. They have no choice but to be hypervigilant about sanitizing.
marie claire – areitta and the dangers of antibiotics and hyper clean children, october 4, 2016