There is a definite link between hand sanitizers and using antibacterial soaps and your gut flora. If you look at people from less developed countries, they don’t use a little sanitizer every time they pick up a pebble or rock. In developed countries, I’ve had patients who are almost crazy when it comes to keeping clean. Everything gets wiped with some type of cloth.
It wasn’t like that when I was growing up in the ’60s. We were outside playing with our pets, dirt, and sand. Sometimes we might get a cut from a piece of glass. We survived just fine.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Bacteria is the same. If you look at the biodiversity in the gut of people who live in third world countries as opposed to people who live in New York City, you see a big difference.
I dare say the person in Africa has got thousands of times more bacteria in their gut and a more diverse population than the person that sits in a car, drive to their office, washes their hands all the time. Low microflora biodiversity is one of the results of repeatedly using sanitizers, mouthwash, and other antibacterial products.
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We don’t use any of those products in our house. I’m not a dirty person, but I’m not a person who needs to go around regularly wiping my hands.
It’s shown through studies that gardeners tend to have greater gut biodiversity than non-gardeners. The only times I put gloves on is if I got real mucky jobs involving manure or stuff like that, but if I’m just working in the soil, I use bare hands.
There is definitely a link between gut bacteria, sanitizers, and antibacterial soaps. Think about the type of soap you’re using. Is it an antibacterial soap that kills every type of bacteria, good or bad, or is it just a plain goat’s milk soap?
The choice is yours. You don’t have to use products that are so powerful you never have any kind of bacteria in the house. You’ll never get rid of bacteria. They’re around you 24/7, so there’s no point trying to eliminate them. In my opinion, using antibacterial products is just not worth the damage to your gut.