Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World

B. Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta. Algonquin, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-61620-649-9
Microbiologists Finlay and Arrieta explain, in illuminating detail, the importance of the gut microbiome and, in particular, how supporting its diversity before birth and in the first months of life can benefit the immune system, allergy avoidance, and lifelong health. They urge reduction of the routine use of antibiotics and discourage use of antimicrobial soaps and sterilizers for baby bottles. They also affirm the value of bacteria-laden breast milk, supplementing formula with probiotics, being licked by puppies, and playing outside. Through these and other measures, they hope to restore the powerful benefits of microbe transfer from the environment to the young child, benefits lost as a side effect of efforts to reduce infectious disease risk and of cultural attitudes that conflate dirt with disease. Finlay and Arrieta’s strong pro-vaccine stance and willingness to admit that some claims are not yet fully established place them firmly in the medical mainstream. The focus on practical choices before and during birth makes this book a good resource for expectant parents; the information here is actually most useful well before the dirt-eating toddler stage. Agent: John Pearce and Chris Casuccio, Westwood Creative Artists. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 09/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-429-1
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-61620-671-0
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-61620-738-0
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-09-951097-0
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