The coronavirus has had a major impact on our lives for the past months. If this period taught us anything, it is that proper hygiene is vital to staying safe and healthy.
Recently, former Science Liaison at Winclove Probiotics Jessica ter Haar wrote the article 'Are we living too clean?' 1 on this topic as scientific director of the International Probiotics Association (IPA).2 Ter Haar elaborates on the “other side of the coin” of all the hand washing, antibacterial cleansing and social distancing. As Ter Haar writes “But similar to the emotional effects of our isolation, by not living life, we are failing to be exposed to the good natural microbes needed to support our immune system’s defenses, metabolism, digestion and the brain’s ability to modulate mood and focus.”1
The role of probiotics
The question is how hygiene measures can be continued to prevent COVID-19 without weakening our immune systems. As Ter Haar explains in the article “Probiotics can be the hero in our current germophobic environment to help counter the lack of microbe exposure and stimulate our body’s own bacterial population in the gut microbiome and cells. Probiotics can literally wake up sleepy bacteria and cells and assist in protecting our health.”1
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1. Article 'Are We Living Too Clean?' by Jessica Ter Haar, IPA, 25 Sept 2020 https://www.the360mag.com/are-we-living-too-clean/
2. International Probiotics Association (IPA) https://internationalprobiotics.org/