What is the Hygiene Hypothesis?

Is it counterproductive to wash our hands, use sanitizers, and outfit our homes with water filtration systems? The hygiene hypothesis states that for all our attempts to be clean and bacteria free in the name of health, we may have cleaned ourselves right into immunity deficiency. The hypothesis suggests that by living in a nearly sterile an environment too early on we don’t have time to strengthen the part of the immune system that defends itself from germs. Therefore, the inflammatory response over-attacks normal, harmless substances like pollen or peanuts.  The hypothesis may prove useful for disease research, but has only been tested on mice so far, and reached no conclusive determinations.

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