Eating Dirt Makes You Smart
While it’s always wise to read journalistic accounts of medical studies with a healthy grain of salt, as the parent of a toddler who loves the outdoors, I hope this is right:
Exposure to a natural soil bacterium, which people likely ingest or breathe in when they spend time in nature, could increase learning behaviour, claim researchers.
The finding will be presented at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego.
“Mycobacterium vaccae is a natural soil bacterium which people likely ingest or breath in when they spend time in nature,” says Dorothy Matthews of The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York, who conducted the research with her colleague Susan Jenks.
Previous research studies on M. vaccae showed that heat-killed bacteria injected into mice stimulated growth of some neurons in the brain that resulted in increased levels of serotonin and decreased anxiety.
via Stewart Baker