American scientists have identified a healthy fat that hides in muck that has the power to fend off anxiety disorders and bringing us one step closer to a “stress vaccine.”
In May 2019, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder revealed that they had discovered that mycobacterium vaccae, a nonpathogenic species of bacteria that lives in mud, has an inflammatory fat liquid that is released through exposure that actually blocks stress receptors that may become inflamed in stressful situations.
The research team, led by Professor Lowry, stressed that this is just the start of us beginning to understand the health and wellbeing benefits of exposure to the beneficial microbes that exist within soil and the environment that we have long lived alongside.
It is over 30 years since it was first suggested that exposure to germs could in fact bolster our immune systems. The theory, called the “hygiene hypothesis” is similar to the theory behind vaccinations – our bodies need practise in helping to develop ways to fight off germs or infections.
That theory has been refined over the years – but the simple fact is that children need to be exposed to microorganisms throughout their childhood so that they build up stronger immune systems.
The lack of exposure has been shown to be a reason behind a rise in immune related conditions such as allergies and asthma.
At We Are Adventurers, we champion the benefits that children get emotionally, intellectually and physically by time spent outdoors and it is an important aspect of our work that we get parents involved in this theory too.
Studies have long-since shown us that outdoor play gives our children the feel good factor and releases endorphins that can lie dormant when sat in front of a TV screen or computer.
But this latest research goes deeper than just watching how children behave – and takes a look at the science behind it.
Whichever way you look at it, it screams to us – MUD IS GOOD.
As well as helping to support our immune system it can also help fend off mental illness. So let your kids make mud pies, encourage them to jump in muddy puddles… and if you can’t beat them .. Join them! (With a little help from us at We Are Adventurers)