Are Depressed People Too Clean?
December 23, 2010
Researchers have been taking a close look at the immune system of people living in today's cleaner modern society. One effect they have found is that rates of depression in younger people have steadily grown to outnumber rates of depression in the older populations; this may be because of a loss of healthy bacteria.
Neuroscientists say there is mounting evidence that changes in modern hygiene have caused disruptions in ancient relationships with microorganisms in soil, food and the gut -- and that these disruptions may contribute to the increasing rates of depression.
"... [T]he modern world has become so clean, we are deprived of the bacteria our immune systems came to rely on over long ages to keep inflammation at bay ... [P]eople with depression, even those who are not sick, have higher levels of inflammation".