I’ve got some disgusting, yet scientific, news
to share with you. Fascinatingly gross, in fact!
Just in time to spoil beach season, I read some
health information that stated something rather grotesque. Just as I thought I was
being healthy catching my rays, taking in some vitamin D, and decreasing my
stress hormones with relaxing, I scanned several articles that came as an
unwelcome “TMI” (Too Much Information). Beach sand may be a reservoir for
people’s poo! Ewwwe!
You read that right.
The Daily Mail states, “It’s the time of year
when we flock to the coast to soak up the sun and have a splash in the
sea. But there’s a hidden danger at seaside resorts that might come as a
grotesque surprise – beach sand actually contains more faecal matter than
seawater contaminated with sewage. Exposure to seawater contaminated with
sewage can cause a range of gastrointestinal infections, as well as respiratory
problems and skin rashes.”
Why is this? Some fecal-curious researchers
utilized laboratory microcosm experiments to figure out why this
pleasure-trumping fact exists. They studied how quickly wastewater bacteria
declined and the change of microbial communities in beach sand and seawater. It
seems bacteria liked to stick around in the sand longer than in the water.
What’s the bottom line? (No pun intended).
Well, there are a few measures you can take to
protect your self. For example, lay a towel down when you’re sitting in the
sand, wear sandals and minimize going barefoot, and bring some natural
sanitizer for your footsies if you play some beach volleyball. (Don’t use
chemical laden sanitizers, which are linked to various health complications!
Visit the Skin Deep Database by the Environmental Working Group to find a safe
alternative).You can also keep up with the amazing lifestyle things you are
1. Eating healthy organic foods to nourish your
body, make your gut bugs happy, and modulate the immune response.
2. Enjoying regular movement.
3. Not stressing too much and enjoying your
I recently read an article that loneliness can
impact mental decline! This is not to mention the other physical impacts such
as mortality and cardiovascular risks that are increased in those who feel
I’m going to redeem poo a little now. It seems
it may actually serve a higher purpose to help evaluate the ever popular
microbiome! It’s true.
Researchers stated in mBio how different fecal samples from sewage water could help
determine different microbial communities in individuals and assist in evaluating
the link between various microbes and health.
They reported on these varying populations of
bugs using oligotyping, a type of gene sequencing, as follows, “Comparisons among municipal sewage
communities revealed the ubiquitous and abundant occurrence of 27 human fecal
oligotypes, representing an apparent core set of organisms in U.S. populations.
The fecal community variability among U.S. populations was significantly lower
than among individuals. It clustered into three primary community structures
distinguished by oligotypes from either: Bacteroidaceae,
Prevotellaceae, or Lachnospiraceae/Ruminococcaceae.”
Dr. Mercola stated, “The researchers identified
a set of “core” bacteria (about 60 types in all) that they noted are “both
common to and abundant in the US populations.” Still, there were noted
differences from city to city.”
What was even cooler is that by analyzing their
results, the researchers could tell which locations had an obesity problem.
Accordingly, this was within a eighty-nine percent accuracy. Wow!
Now, besides using fecal transplants, a whole other subject, we may have
another very important scientific use for our waste.
It’s a disgusting and exciting contemplation.
One to be aware of, prepare for, but not
dwell on if you’re looking forward to your beach adventures.
J. Beachgoers beware! The sand you’re sitting on might be covered in POO:
Faecal matter is more common on the shore than in the sea, study reveals. The
Daily Mail. July 16, 2015. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3163494/Beach-goers-beware-sand-sitting-covered-POO-Faecal-matter-common-shore-sea-study-reveals.html#ixzz3gZwT5fqT
Chemical Society. Attention beachgoers: Fecal contamination affects sand more
than water. July 15, 2015. Eurekalert.com. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-07/acs-abf071515.php
SD, Cohen S, Miller GE, Barkin A, Rabin BS, Treanor JJ. Loneliness, social
network size, and immune response to influenza vaccination in college freshmen.
Health Psychol. 2005
LC, Cacioppo JT. Loneliness Matters: A Theoretical and Empirical Review of
Consequences and Mechanisms. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the
Society of Behavioral Medicine.
Day. Loneliness May Fuel Mental Decline in Old Age. July 20, 2015. http://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/loneliness-may-fuel-mental-decline-in-old-age-701371.html
RJ, McLellan SL, Dila DK, Vineis JH, Morrison HG, Murat E, Sogin ML. Sewage
Reflects the Microbiomes of Human Populations. mBio. 24 February 2015; 6(2); e02574-14. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02574-14
J. What Secrets Are Revealed in City Sewage About Health. Mercola.com. July 4,