Germs `good for you`

London: It may sound a bit bizarre, but
germs really are good for you, says a new study.

Researchers have carried out the study and found that
being too clean may impair the skin`s ability to stay healthy
and heal itself -- in fact, bacteria on the surface of the
skin play an active role in combating inflammation.

According to them, this is because the bugs dampen
down over-active immune responses which can lead to rashes or
cause cuts and bruises to become swollen and painful.

"These germs are actually good for us," the `Daily
Express` quoted lead researcher Professor Richard Gallo of the
University of California as saying.

The findings may provide a molecular basis for
the "hygiene hypothesis". First proposed in the 1980s, this
suggests that early childhood exposure to bugs might "prime"
the immune system to prevent allergies.

The theory also helps explain the high rates of
allergic diseases in "cleaner" industrialised countries.

Bureau Report