Consider the difference in size between some of the very tiniest and the very largest creatures on Earth. A small bacterium weighs as little as 0.00000000001 gram. A blue whale weighs about 100,000,000 grams. Yet a bacterium can kill a whale…Such is the adaptability and versatility of microorganisms as compared with humans and other so-called “higher” organisms, that they will doubtless continue to colonize and alter the face of the Earth long after we and the rest of our cohabitants have left the stage forever. Microbes, not macrobes, rule the world. Bernard Dixon
Improvement in health is likely to come, in the future as in the past, from modification of the conditions which lead to disease, rather than from intervention into the mechanisms of disease after it has occurred. Thomas McKeown
The most sophisticated of their species have the ability to outwit or manipulate the one microbial sensing system Homo sapiens possess: our immune systems. By sheer force of numbers they overwhelm us. And they are evolving far more rapidly than Homo sapiens, adapting to changes in their environments by mutating, undergoing high-speed natural selection… The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett
The microbe is nothing; the terrain everything. Louis Pasteur
There is a reason for everything and a purpose. Pookela Kahuna Laau Lapaau Papa Henry Auwae 1995
The purpose of this paper is to provide information that comes from a combination of scientific research and principles, holistic and alternative perspectives and spirituality.
Presented herein is the view that a new paradigm in the way people think about disease is required. Instead of viewing the avoidance of disease and the pursuit of health as a “war on microbes”, rather we need to focus on the terrain within the body as the means of balancing the system and creating health. After all, the “war on microbes” will never be won, in fact, much of what has been done over the years to battle microbial diseases has served to strengthen and increase the efficacy of viral and bacterial infections.
We are not only a world out of balance but each individual human system that is out of balance affords opportunistic pathological bacteria and viruses the chance to thrive, which leads to disease and the spread of disease.
In 1992, Vice President Albert Gore warned that nothing short of a massive worldwide shift in human perspective, coupled with elaborate systems of international regulation and economic incentives would be adequate to ensure the survival of the planet’s ecology. He went on to say, “Those who have a vested interest in the status quo will probably continue to stifle any meaningful change until enough citizens who are concerned about the ecological system are willing to speak out and urge their leaders to bring the earth back into balance.”
This paper will present information on what each individual can do protect their selves and loved ones from the threat of “a world out of balance” and create an internal environment that is opportunistic for health rather than disease.
The World Health Organization warns that any microbe can make its way around the world in forty-eight hours. With the advent of penicillin, whole categories of “miracle drugs” were created called anti (against) biotics (life). However, bacteria and other disease-causing organisms - viruses, fungi, and parasites - have a remarkable ability to mutate and acquire resistance genes from other organisms and thereby develop resistance to antimicrobial drugs. When an antimicrobial drug is used, the selective pressure exerted by the drug favors the growth of organisms that are resistant to the drug's action. Thus antibiotics that were once used to treat familiar diseases are not as effective and in some cases do not work at all. The extensive use of antimicrobial drugs has resulted in drug resistance that threatens to reverse medical miracles of the last half-century.
In just one example, more people in the U.S. now die from MRSA infection than from AIDS.
Antibiotics kill living bacteria. In a healthy person’s intestinal tract there exist probiotic (pro-life) bacteria that are essential to health and protect an individual from pathogenic bacteria (unfriendly organisms). Because so many pathogenic bacteria have evolved into drug-resistant forms, friendly, probiotic colonies are weakened, leaving the body open to infection and disease.
Here’s how antibiotics create drug resistance – “Even when a conventional antibiotic is successful at destroying 99.9% of a harmful bacterial colony, generating the immediate appearance of success, the treatment will often leave the surviving minority subpopulation (in this case, the .1%) of bacteria to produce genetically-mediated resistance factors, as well as biofilm, enabling it to survive and eventually grow back to harmful proportions. When the .1% grows back to levels where it is capable of causing symptoms and signs of infection, the original antibiotic is completely ineffective; to the contrary, it will actually kill off all competing beneficial bacteria, making the antibiotic-resistant bacteria thrive. This then requires the use of even more toxic chemical treatments to attempt to kill the new drug resistant colony, repeating the same cycle over again. At the end of this road is multi-drug resistant infection, whose pathogenicity is a direct result of the use of these conventional agents, and which therefore cannot be controlled by them.”
The U.S. government’s Interagency Task Force states: “Many other pathogens including the bacteria that cause tuberculosis and gonorrhea, human immunodeficiency virus, the fungi that cause yeast infections, and the parasites that cause malaria - are also becoming resistant to standard therapies. If we do not act to address the problem of AR (antimicrobial resistance), we may lose quick and reliable treatment of infections that have been a manageable problem in the United States since the 1940s. Drug choices for the treatment of common infections will become increasingly limited and expensive - and, in some cases, nonexistent.
Germs are highly adaptable to their terrain or environment. As more and more bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, with some actually using antibiotics as a food source as well as other bacterial mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, we are seeing the beginnings of an epidemic of virulent forms of pathological bacteria. In addition, it seems that viruses, because of their rapid reproduction rates and high degrees of inherent mutability, are even more likely than bacteria to develop effective resistance to the drugs that are used against them.
"Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections."
The report acknowledged that deaths related to antibiotic resistance are based on "conservative assumptions and are likely minimum estimates."
This detailed report goes on to say that medicine is running out of drugs that are effective against infections. “Among all of the bacterial resistance problems, gram-negative pathogens are particularly worrisome, because they are becoming resistant to nearly all drugs that would be considered for treatment.”
It appears that the situation has become so serious that the government is finally taking notice. In fact, the FDA recently put in place a major new policy to phase out the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in cows, pigs and chickens raised for meat, a practice that experts say has endangered human health by fueling the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance.
How have scientists and doctors generally responded to these problems of antimicrobial resistance? Dr. Merle Sande, head of the San Francisco General Hospital, at a National Institutes of Health meeting exclaims, “We need better drugs!”
Author Mark Lappe’ of the book Germs That Won’t Die, says this about drug use for microbial infections: “Unfortunately, we played a trick on the natural world by seizing control of these chemicals, making them more perfect in a way that has changed the whole microbial constitution of the developing countries. We have organisms now proliferating that never existed before in nature. We have selected them. We have organisms that probably caused a tenth of a percent of human disease in the past that now cause twenty, thirty percent of the disease that we’re seeing. We have changed the whole face of the earth by the use of antibiotics.”
Louis Pasteur’s discovery that most infectious diseases are caused by germs became one of the most important discoveries in medical history. His “germ theory of disease” became the foundation for the science of microbiology, and a cornerstone of modern history. On his deathbed Louis Pasteur declared, “the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything.” The paradigm (still accepted as gospel) that many diseases are caused by germs invading the body from without, seems to be challenged by evidence that the actual cause of many diseases is the body’s internal environment, its terrain, that provides the opportunity for germs to thrive within. The fact that Pasteur changed his point of view on this theory before his death is often overlooked by modern medicine. Pasteur explains that germs are “ordinarily kept within bounds by natural laws, but when conditions change, when its virulence is exalted, when its host is enfeebled, the germ is able to invade the territory which was previously barred.”
Nina Etkin, in her book, Edible Medicines states, “One could argue that the discovery of essential nutrients was delayed by the insights of Koch and Pasteur, who directed attention to the presence of something that causes disease, microorganisms, rather than to deficiencies of health-sustaining substances.”
The above premise states that a healthy body is resistant and not susceptible to disease. The question we ask now is: Have we found a soothing complacency in placing blame for our ill health on malevolent, microscopic “invaders”, rather than accept responsibility for our lifestyle habits?
Compare bacteria, viruses, and fungi to weeds, bugs, and plants. Weeds have a job to do. They clean the soil of toxins. Their job is to protect the earth and to reclaim abused soil and air with the help of microbes. Weeds are “signs”. (Read “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson) Weeds proliferate in spite of the enormous amounts of herbicides applied and will actually return stronger after these poisons are used. Pests and disease only attack a plant that gives off a weak signal.
It is the same with microbes and humans. Bacteria, viruses and fungi are often the result, not the cause, of disease. Bacteria have an important role to perform in the vital process of healing. Germs take part in virtually all disease phenomena that require the disintegration of refuse and toxic matter that the body is attempting to remove. Bacteria/Viruses/Fungus proliferate because there is an opportunity presented within the body for them to thrive.
This dynamic can also apply to a healthy system with probiotic bacteria and fermentation compounds which, in sufficient numbers, can control gastrointestinal infections, provide immune enhancement, reduce serum cholesterol, help reduce or prevent food allergies, aid lactose digestion in lactose-intolerant individuals, and reduce colon cancer incidence and yeast infections through immunomodulation. This is only a partial list of the clinically proven health benefits of probiotic bacteria and fermentation by-products.
Pathological bacteria and viruses, as stated above, are opportunistic and need a suitable environment created by a toxic condition of the body. It’s important to note that this toxic condition can result from stresses to our physical, mental (emotional) or spiritual bodies, or all of these. The higher purpose of pathogenic microbes is to eliminate a weak organism when healing is not possible because of a severely compromised immune system.
Are immunizations the answer? In 1993 H. Hugh Fudenberg, M.D., a pioneer in the field of immunology, explained, “I can trace down almost all of the cases of viral infection or exposure to someone who has been immunized with a virus vaccine.” Research is now showing that autism, learning disabilities, brain damage and death can be attributed to immunizations. As a result of swine flu vaccines in 1976, hundreds of people developed Guillain-Barre’ syndrome, an ailment that caused paralysis, respiratory distress, neurological symptoms and occasionally, even death.
Vaccines have been found to contain the following ingredients: aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, ammonium sulfate, amphotericin B, animal tissues: pig blood, horse blood, rabbit brain, dog kidney, monkey kidney, chick embryo, chicken egg, duck egg, calf (bovine) serum, betapropiolactone, fetabovineerum, formaldehyde, formalin, gelatin, glycerol human diploid cells (originating from human aborted fetal tissue), hydrolyzed gelatin, monosodium glutamate (MSG), neomycin, neomycinsulfatephenol redindicatorphenoxyethanol(antifreeze), potassium diphosphate, potassium monophosphate, polymyxin B, polysorbate 20, polysorbate 80, porcine(pig) pancreatic, hydrolysate of casein, residual MRC5 proteins, sorbitol, sucrose, thimerosal (mercury).
The average person can easily identify many of these ingredients as toxic to humans as well as highly undesirable. Do we really want these substances injected directly into our blood stream?
With bio-terrorism a real concern and the extensive research being done on virulence, it becomes only a matter of time before the airborne transmission of deadly viruses and bacteria become a reality. Information and awareness of these issues are important tools we can add to a foundation of intention and commitment to lifestyle habits that promote health. Together, these can assist any individual who desires to protect themselves and their families. An individual, a community and a world that affords pathogenic microbes minimal opportunities to flourish by caring for our inner environment is the real solution to the threat of a “world out of balance” from the challenges of microbial infection.
Let us also look to the time honored food traditions of native cultures and the wisdom inherent in food as nature intended to solve these challenges. Historical evidence and recent medical research has demonstrated that fermented foods and natural nutrient-dense whole foods have historically provided native cultures around the world with strong, disease-resistant bodies, powerful mental acuity and harmonious spirits.
In my next blog I will identify key strategies to protect yourself and family from these critical issues.
Microbes are opportunistic. They adapt, mutate and can change from harmless bacteria to pathological bacteria in an environment that enables them to thrive. The problem is usually the person who inhabits the body rather than the microbe. Healing and health require a focused effort, information on what “health” truly is and a mind that is relatively free from worry, doubt, fear, hate, blame or anger. For the most part, antibiotics, vaccines and other drugs may serve to further weaken the immune system, thus setting the stage for an even stronger and more virulent attack on the body. Drugs cannot differentiate between friendly bacteria that are essential to your health and pathogens that cause illness and disease.
Nutritional science supports and historical evidence has shown that the biochemistry of whole foods and especially that of naturally fermented foods may be the greatest and most effective method of protecting the human body from pathological disease.
Your health is your greatest asset. Without health, the most well-intentioned person cannot serve themselves, family or humankind to the fullest. The desire to live and create health must be sincere! Ke Akua Pu Me Oe.
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