Have you heard about Mycobacterium vaccae yet?

2815842_fc6fc9e2Have you heard about Mycobacterium vaccae yet? It is a type of good bacteria that you breathe in when you spend time in nature or dig in your  garden. M. vaccae was discovered on accident during an experiment to find a cure for lung cancer, after boosting the immune system it was also  observed that patients “emotional health, vitality, and cognitive function” had improved.

Christopher Lowry, a neuroscientist at the University of Bristol in England, had a hunch about how this process might work. “What we think  happens is that the bacteria activate immune cells, which release chemicals called cytokines that then act on receptors on the sensory nerves to  increase their activity,” he says.

Current studies are using this bacteria to shorten treatment for MDR-TB (multi-drug resistant tuberculosis) which will revolutionize TB care  and control.

Within the last 10 years M. vaccae has been shown to:

– increase activity of serotonin-producing neurons in the brain (which regulates mood, metabolism, aggression, and sleep)
– sharpen mental skills
– relieve stress and reduce anxiety

So, cleanliness is good, but it is still healthy to get out there and get your hands dirty. Or just take some deep breaths in the outdoors and relax a  little.

20 thoughts on “Have you heard about Mycobacterium vaccae yet?

  1. RichieO November 27, 2014 / 4:23 am

    M. Vaccea was discovered in 1976, by professor John Stanford, it was used to create a treatment for leprosy, which was very successful, it also cured many other things and improved asthma, it was not used as a treatment for lung cancer until 1990s….


  2. thecollectioncup March 3, 2013 / 4:29 pm

    That’s awesome and such a good thing to teach your child! Keep digging


  3. BotaniKaty March 3, 2013 / 2:49 pm

    Love that this back up the ‘you’ve got to let kids get dirty’ rule! me and my three year old have been digging in the front garden this week 🙂


  4. yummania March 2, 2013 / 3:55 pm

    didn`t know this,very cool


  5. thecollectioncup February 26, 2013 / 6:25 pm

    I love the name, momsasaurus. Cuddly and nurturing… yet tough 🙂


  6. momsasaurus February 26, 2013 / 12:21 pm

    Thanks for following momsasaurus! Love your blog – this post is fascinating!


  7. thecollectioncup February 26, 2013 / 9:08 am

    Rub some lemon juice on the poison ivy for reduced swelling and increased healing 🙂

    Thanks for the feedback!


  8. JoJo February 25, 2013 / 11:08 pm

    I spend an entire week planting flowers in my many, many gardens every year. I’m not the biggest fan of gardening, as it’s hard work, but I do love my garden oasis I’ve created. Glad to know I’m getting something healthy out of it along with the annual dose of poison ivy!


  9. Christina George February 24, 2013 / 11:06 pm

    Reblogged this on The Treasure Trove and commented:
    This is for all you gardeners out there! Ahem, that means NOT me. Tried that last year. Hated, hated, hated the digging dirt, the pulling weeds, the heat, the spiders and grasshoppers and other creepy-crawlies, the watering all the time, the… Okay there is one thing I liked: the beautiful flowers that actually survived. 🙂
    Enjoy, oh gardeners! (And feel free to come tend what’s left of my garden)


  10. thecollectioncup February 24, 2013 / 8:17 pm

    I agree… there is a fine line between being sanitary and being obsessive about cleanliness. Eating healthy, having a balanced mind, getting enough rest, and being active are seen as unnecessary when we have antibiotics and other magic pills. I wonder what the world will be like in 10 years with all of the new drug resistant bacteria and people with compromised or weak immune systems. I don’t know but I ate plenty of dirt as a child and I’m still alive.

    Thank you for the support! You have given me an idea for a new blog.


  11. Vanessa Valdez February 24, 2013 / 7:54 pm

    Nice blog! Thanks for liking and following : )


  12. eatnapplay February 24, 2013 / 7:21 pm

    Hadn’t heard about this. Very cool, thanks for sharing!


  13. kitgreen February 24, 2013 / 7:07 pm

    Many parents have the tendency to try and ‘protect’ their children by not letting them get dirty or do anything that they consider risky. Likewise, the use of antibacterial hand santiser is all too common. As you are saying, many people don’t realize the benefits that some bacteria can have, and assume that all bacteria is dangerous. This line of thinking is actually very risky, and makes me wonder how less fit the next generation will be.

    Good blog, love how there are so many different focuses.


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