Thursday, November 6, 2008


When I Googled the title of this blog this morning up came numerous references to Barack Obama but given the world-wide hype since his elections I thought I’d give the poor man a rest, at least for today.

True my clean pair or rather pairs of hands are in the USA but are not election related but rather the subject of a study by the University of Colorado. There biologist Noah Fierer has determined that on the typical pair of mitts there are 150 different species of bacteria.

Staggeringly on the 102 hands (51 people) tested there were 4,700 different species of bacteria. Reassuring only five people had all of them – I think they should be named and shamed!

Now here is the interesting bit. It appears that women’s hands have more bacteria than men’s –and knowing what men do with their hands that may well shock you too!

The theory is that as men’s hands are more acidic its allows less bacteria to breed. Also women use more creams and treatments on their hands and this encourages the bacteria – I guess the same applies to David Beckham.

There was little difference in the level of bacteria on the right or the left hand and of the 51 people taking part only 13 per cent of the various bacteria were on their respective hands. Some bacteria were less present after washing but others increased so washing with an anti-bacteria soap is recommended. The good news is that the vast majority of the bacteria on our hands are not harmful and indeed many protect us against pathogens.

Not in the least related but I will tell you anyway is the news that olive oil helps prevent the appearance of chronic illness and improves the quality of a person’s life. This news will officially be given by Doctor Francisco Pérez Jiménez to the II International Conference on Olive Oil and Health to be held in Jaén later this month.

Now call me an old cynic, believe me I have been called worse, but giving good news on olive oil to the chief growing area is like telling a conference of a major petroleum producer that oil slicks don’t harm the environment.

None the less you’ll be pleased to know that olive oil when used as part of the Mediterranean Diet cuts down on inflammation and holds back serious illnesses. It is more beneficial than other oils, controls cholesterol, blood pressure and oxidation, whatever that may be.

However to get the benefits it is not just necessary to use olive oil but virgin or virgin extra.

You don’t need me to tell you that when handling a virgin of any description it is important to wash your hands with the right soap first!

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