Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Over-Sanitized World

Author(s): B. Brett Finlay


In the two hundred years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we've battled to keep them under control. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to our children's well-being. Our modern lifestyle, with its emphasis on hyper-cleanliness, is having a negative effect on our children's lifelong health. In this engaging and important book, microbiologists Finlay and Arrieta explain how the millions of microbes that live in and on our bodies influence childhood development; why an imbalance in those microbes can lead to obesity, diabetes, asthma, autism, and reactions to vaccines, among other chronic conditions; and what parents can do - from conception on - to positively impact their children's health. They describe how natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and solid foods influence children's microbiota, and offer practical advice on such matters as whether to sterilize baby bottles, use antibiotics, or let your dog lick your child. And they include Do's and Don'ts at the end of each chapter, providing clear guidelines for anxious parents.


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"This book might change your perspective on real cleanliness ... and along the way help you to raise healthier kids." Giulia Enders, author of Gut "A must-read for parents, teachers, and any healthcare provider for children, Let Them Eat Dirt takes you inside the inside tract of a child's gut, and shows you how to give kids the best immune start early in life." William Sears, author of The Baby Book "With the quiet weight of their authority, pioneer researchers Brett Finlay and Claire Arrieta help parents to understand the real nature of microbes, and then to act to improve their children's health." Martin Blaser, author of Missing Microbes

B. Brett Finlay (Author) B. Brett Finlay, PhD, is Professor of Microbiology at the University of British Columbia and has published over four hundred and fifty articles on microbes and how bacterial infections work. A founder of the biotech companies Inimex, Vedanta, and Microbiome Insights, Brett is Officer of the Order of Canada - the highest Canadian civilian recognition. He lives in Vancouver, BC, with his wife, who is a pediatrician, and has two grown children.Marie-Claire Arrieta (Author) Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD, has been studying how intestinal alterations lead to several immune diseases since 2007, combining her knowledge of microbes and immunology to lead a major clinical study on the role of the microbiota in asthma. A mother of two, Arrieta is a tireless advocate of using scientific knowledge to improve the health of children.

General Fields

  • : 9780099510963
  • : penguin random house
  • : Windmill Books
  • : September 2016
  • : 216mm X 135mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : October 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 649.4
  • : 304
  • : B. Brett Finlay
  • : Paperback