A Case for Loving Germs

By Karen Dente, MD


I’ve always been of the opinion that germs are our friends – at least to a certain degree. And I have never understood the germ-phobia and obsession of those trying to eradicate microorganisms that live within and around us. This overly sanitary zeal to disease prevention that has played a big role in western medicine’s approach to curing diseases especially since penicillin was discovered, has implications that are not always conducive to health. Here’s a worthwhile article written by food journalist Michael Pollan in New York Times Magazine that makes a case for respecting and understanding the function of the microbes residing within and all about us:

I believe that the more we understand about their crucial role, especially of the gut microbes residing within, in maintaining a balance in human health, the more we learn to respect the ecology of our internal and external body as it relates to our external environment, the more we can aim to achieve a healthy balance in our lives and prevent many types of chronic disease.

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