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Why Dirt is Good: 5 Ways to Make Germs Your Friends [Hardcover]

Mary Ruebush
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Trade; 1 edition (6 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427798044
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427798046
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 782,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


To boost your immune system and stay healthy, make friends with dirt! Do you believe the best way to protect yourself and your family from germs is to clean everything with antibacterial soap? If so, get ready to be surprised, informed, and entertained! In "Why Dirt Is Good", immunologist Dr. Mary Ruebush shows you why our obsession with cleanliness may be making us more vulnerable to disease and creating a new generation of superbugs! In these pages, you'll discover: why everyone needs a little dirt in their lives; the downside of antibacterial cleansers and hand sanitizers; the 5 Rules to boost your immune system - and make your kids stronger and healthier (Rule #1: Let them eat dirt!); why sometimes the best way to treat an illness is to do nothing (especially with kids' ear infections!); how a little dirt may help protect your child from allergies and asthma; what you can do to prevent so-called superbugs - by avoiding the unnecessary use of antibiotics and antibacterials; and, entertaining cartoons, irreverent (yet medically sound) advice, and expert tips on vaccinations, medicines, staying healthy, and much more.

Mary Ruebush, PhD, is a microbiology and immunology instructor for Kaplan Medical. She has taught immunology, infectious disease, and pathology in medical school settings for over 30 years. Her studies on viruses, parasites, and bacteria have been published in scholarly journals. She is the mother of two children and lives in Bozeman, Montana.

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4.0 out of 5 stars How to survive germs 18 May 2009
The author makes a good and convincing case. She starts with a metaphorical description of the parts of the immune system, which I found a bit too thorough for the general reader, but I believe it all. The details of the system in action, and the results of abandoning vaccination were much more interesting for me.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet and convincing 2 Mar 2009
By Kristine Lofgren - Published on Amazon.com
In this book, Mary Ruebush makes the case that we need to get a little "dirtier" if we want to improve our health and the health of generations to come.

Laid out in 5 different sections, this book explains how we have created "super-germs" and have actually lowered our immune response with our use of anti-bacterials and our hyper-cleanliness and how a little dirt and allowing our immune system to actually do its job will make us healthier in the long run. She shows that the use antibiotics, except in the most serious cases, actually weakens our immunity and how your immune system tends to become lazy and ineffective if it isn't given a job. She also explains the importance of vaccinations. Explained in simple terms and accompanied by cartoons, this book is a super quick read and based in solid scientific evidence. I give it four stars only because it is less an actual book and more like a hard-bound essay it is so short.

After taking an hour to read this book front to end, I found myself taking a deep breath and resolving to follow the advice laid out in this book, despite my germ-o-phobia, that is how convincing and solid this book is.

I would recommend this book to anyone curious about "Why dirt is good", but particularly those with babies or parents-to-be, as that is the primary audience that this book is aimed at. Not only will you find yourself having a better understanding of how our immune system works, you will find yourself better armed to deal with the day to day life with germs.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dirt is good 26 Aug 2011
By R. P. Stratton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author of this very readable little book makes the case that children should experience germs in order to acquire immunity. I have passed this book on to friends who have children and are almost paranoid about germs, using antibacterial hand soap, etc., at every opportunity. As a psychologist, I extent this idea to include acquiring immunity, or resiliance, through childhood by experiencing life's disappointments, such as losing in sports and friendships, so children can learn to cope with the little things before having to cope with similar big things later in life. Unfortunately too many parents today are over-protective and shelter their children from disappointments.
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone with children needs to read this book. 6 Jun 2013
By ccgabe - Published on Amazon.com
She explains why a little dirt is a good thing and why too clean is a bad thing. My grand kids should be really healthy. A couple days ago my 1.5 year old grandson was sitting in the sandbox just grinning away with a mouth full of d sand and dirt.
5.0 out of 5 stars clear and interesting 1 Feb 2013
By sari azrak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Its a short book, but full of interesting and helpful pieces of knowledge. the material was presented very clearly and concisely, most of it in terms that normal people can comprehend. it explains clearly how normal household germs strengthen the immune system, and how the ultra hygienic times we live in can actually weaken it and increase allergies to common items. every germophobe should study this from end to end! germs are good!
5.0 out of 5 stars Every expectant or young mother should read! 30 Nov 2012
By Joy Phelps - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There would be a lot less sick kiddos out there if all moms would learn to understand the scientific reasons for letting your children get dirty and enjoy being a kid!
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