Is Dirt the new Prozac?

Posted On : February 22, 2016

Once again, my mom is right.

For years, she has been talking about how great it feels to get her hands in the dirt in her garden.

“It does something for my soul” she will often say.

Well science is now proving that there is something to her theory.

In dirt lives a good bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae. When exposed to this bacteria, patients reported increases in their quality of life, including a brighter mood.

The dirt-and-Prozac connection surfaced a couple of years ago when a study was done at the University of Bristol and University College London. They exposed lung cancer patients to this common, inoffensive microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae, found in soil. Researchers found that this bacteria stimulated the production of seratonin, our happy hormone.

This study has lead scientists to wonder if our obsession with keeping ourselves, and especially our kids, clean may be contributing to a larger growing health problem; depression.

With advancements in technology, we have become an indoor culture. Glued to our xboxes, TV’s, laptops, and smartphones has created more cases of moodiness, anxiety, and depression. This is becoming such a common problem, doctors are now calling it “Nature Deficiency Disorder”

So next time you are feeling blue, ask yourself “When was the last time I went for a hike, went camping, or played in my veggie garden?”

It might just be the fastest path to a happy brain.

Dr. Mindy