An unrelated (yet completely related) post by The Homeschooling Doctor about brain development from adolescence through adulthood, a note from Dr. Kadar, DDS concerning a special bacteria found in garden soil, and another note from Wild Cucumber saying that she has resumed blogging at Garbling the Dandelion (Great pics!), all point towards the fact that we need to get down and dirty and embrace our inner overlords.
Turns out there's a special bacteria found ubiquitously in the soil.
Wikipedia tells us:
Research areas being pursued with regard to killed Mycobacterium vaccae vaccine include immunotherapy for allergic asthma, cancer, depression, leprosy, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and tuberculosis.
It has recently been hypothesized that exposure to Mycobacterium vaccae may result in an antidepressant effect, because it stimulates the generation of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. More specifically, it induces the neurogenesis of neurons that produce those two compounds.
And the study that GabKad linked:
Coevolution of microbes and their hosts has resulted in the formation of symbiotic relationships that enable animals to adapt to their environments and protect themselves against pathogens. Recent studies show that contact with tolerogenic microbes is important for the proper functioning of immunoregulatory circuits affecting behavior, emotionality and health. Few studies have examined the potential influence of ambient bacteria, such as Mycobacterium vaccae on the gut–brain–microbiota axis...Collectively, our results suggest a beneficial effect of naturally delivered, live M. vaccae on anxiety-related behaviors and maze performance, supporting a positive role for ambient microbes in the immunomodulation of animal behavior.
Aside from a great diet, good sleep, and some exercise, it's also important we get out and get dirty! As Spring is in full swing in the northern hemisphere, take some time to get outside and cultivate a patch of dirt! Grow something. Garble something. Get healthy. And don't forget to get your kids involved, too. They may need it more than anyone!
The actual act of gardening (or garbling) is undoubtedly just as beneficial as the products of said activity. Stress reduction is important in overall health. What a better way than to dig in the dirt and acquire some bacteria that take control of your immune system, emotions, brain growth and health?