Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dirt Boosts Happiness (Seems kinda obvious)

Besides being interesting articles such as this one are a great form of procrastination.

Exposure to dirt may be a way to lift mood as well as boost the immune system, UK scientists say.

Lung cancer patients treated with "friendly" bacteria normally found in the soil have anecdotally reported improvements in their quality of life.

Mice exposed to the same bacteria made more of the brain's "happy" chemical serotonin, the Bristol University authors told the journal Neuroscience.

A team at Georgetown University Medical Center recently discovered serotonin is passed between key cells in the immune system, and that the chemical can activate an immune response.

Further down

This suggests that serotonin may restore a healthy immune function in people who are depressed and prone to infections.

On the flip side, it is also possible that serotonin, and serotonin-boosting antidepressants, end up bolstering immunity to the point that they trigger autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself.


George said...

Lol... Nice to hear your love of dirt continues :)

John said...

Hell yea! soil is the most dynamic complex and wonderful thing ever. Just found out a bit more about myccorhizae and the role played by fungi in the soil, tis wicked.