Microbes – The Earth is round?

Something new has been cropping up in different places in the media and it has me cheering – Hurrah!  This summer we saw a key front cover of The Economist magazine talk about how “Microbes Maketh Man”.  Now there is an article on how badly we (that is including the medical profession) have underestimated the value of microbes to human health.

 In this article of the October 22nd 2012 The New Yorker, Michael Specter writes on page 32 about the history of gastritis and peptic ulcers and their relationship to the bacterial species H. pylori.  This discovery led many specialists to preach the destruction and removal of all H. pylori through the use of antibiotics.  (think of small pox eradication efforts!).  Now, one of those great eradication champions has made the startling discovery that H. pylori also makes some important and positive contributions to our digestive system. 

“Germs make us sick,” he said.  “But everyone focuses on the harm.  And it’s not that simple, because without most of these organisms, we could never survive.”
It turns out that in several highly detailed tests and experiments, the absence of H. pylori has a high correlation with asthma and our ability to deal with other allergens such as dust mites and worse (no mention of a potential relationship to Cedar Fever, but definitely worth exploring!).
The article is definitely worth a read and is a great sledgehammer blow to the idea that our health is controlled solely by our DNA.

Glen Dupree, D.V.M. also contributed an article in the recent ACRES USA magazine in which he looks at the Germ Theory of Disease that dictates the thinking behind most modern medicine – that a particular microorganism (bacteria, fungus, etc.) is responsible for a particular disease and that if we eliminate the microorganism we have cured the disease.  This was the work of the great Louis Pasteur.  In other words, eliminate the threat!

Dupree contrasts this work with that of Antoine Beauchamp, a contemporary of Pasteur’s, who was also studying fermentation.  Beauchamp reached a radically different conclusion when he realized that by changing the environment in which the microbes were growing, he could change the nature and morphology of the microbe (i.e. changing the pH, oxygen levels, nutrients, temperature, etc.).

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