27 Sep 2018

SOIL CAN HELP REDUCE DEPRESSION

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feet in soil

HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM ANTIDEPRESSANT MICROBES IN SOIL

Most gardeners will attest that the act of gardening can reduce stress and improve your mood.

There are obvious benefits from tending a garden. You’re outside in the fresh air and Vitamin D producing sunshine (which helps regulate your serotonin levels). But now science is proving through experiments that there are actual antidepressant microorganism in the soil that affect our sense of wellbeing.

Playing in the Dirt

Mycobacterium vaccae is found in soil, and activates the release of brain serotonin. Serotonin and dopamine are two chemicals that boost our immune system and keep us happy.

When you are gardening, M. vaccae is on your skin when you have your bare hands in the soil, you inhale it when you breathe, or it gets into your bloodstream through a little cut perhaps.

The effects of the soil bacteria were discovered accidently by oncologist Dr Mary O’Brien. She created a serum out of the M. vaccae bacteria and gave it to lung cancer patients to boost their immune system. She noticed that another effect of the serum was that the patients felt happier, more vital, and they suffered from less pain.

Healthy Soil, Healthy Body

Mycobacterium vaccae is one of a vast spectrum of microbes that have been interacting and co-evolving with us. The well-being of our immune system and psychology is enhanced by frequent exposure, in our early childhood, to a diverse group of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and worms.

Deficiencies in microbial exposure could be the key to the recent increase in chronic health problems, including autoimmune diseases and depression.

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