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Outdoor Immunity

Depression has been shown to increase the risk of thrombotic events due to hypercoagulation mechanisms (Ziegelstein, 2018). In their book, Your Brain on Nature, authors Selhub and Logan (2012) discuss the role of soil bacteria and its relationship to mental health. The authors present research from the early 1900s that demonstrated the use of oral supplementation of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria to increase the moods and cognition in patients suffering from melancholia (Selhub & Logan, 2012).

Mycobacterium vaccae (M vaccae) found in compost and garden soil have been shown to increase feelings of relaxation and joy through the activation of serotonergic neurons within the brain. M vaccae have also been shown to increase the activation of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-10 (IL-10). Anti-inflammatory cytokines play an important role offsetting the development of CVD (Xuan, Wang, Zhi, Li, & Wei, 2016). Casually strolling along a forest trail or meandering through a lush garden while inhaling the fresh soil aromas of Mycobacterium vaccae, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria elicit a pathophysiological transformation that increases the anti-inflammatory cytokines and serotonergic neurons that produce feelings of happiness.


Selhub, E. M., & Logan, A. C. (2012). Your Brain on Nature. Toronto, Canada: HarperCollins.

Xuan, Y., Wang, L., Zhi, H., Xiaoshan, L., & Wei, P. (2016, February). Association Between 3 IL-10 Gene Polymorphisms and Cardiovascular Disease Risk. Medicine, 95(6), e2846., R. C. (2018). Depression and Heart Disease. Retrieved from

Ziegelstein, R. C. (2018). Depression and Heart Disease. Retrieved from

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