THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS
VACCINATIONS, ANTIBIOTICS, AND HOW TO HEAL YOUR GUT
“All disease begins in the gut.” -Hippocrates
- DR. CLAUDE BERNARD: Dr. Bernard (1813-1878) was a French physiologist who has been praised as, “one of the greatest of all men of science“. Among his numerous scientific accomplishments were his development of double-blinded studies as well as coming up with the concept of “HOMEOSTASIS” — the body strives to keep its internal environment constant. It was Bernard who wrote that, “The terrain is everything; the germ is nothing“. In other words, the soil is far more important than the seed.
- DR. ANTOINE BECHAMP: Dr. Bechamp (1816-1908), a chemist and biologist as well as a fellow Frenchman, was a rival of Pasteur. Although his “Microzyma” theory is certainly interesting, I’m not sure it’s much more than that. Bechamp believed that germs could not invade a healthy host; but could easily invade, thrive, and multiply in an unhealthy host. Sort of like the old “Rats in the Dump” lecture that Dr. Fred Barge used to give. Dumps attract rats, but they certainly don’t cause them.
- DR. ILYA ILYICH MESHNIKOV: Dr. Meshnikov (1845-1916) was a Nobel Prize-winning Russian biologist, zoologist, protozoologist, and immunologist, who happened to be one of our earliest “Gut Health” researchers. A popular online encyclopedia says this about Dr. Meshnikov. “Mechnikov also developed a theory that aging is caused by toxic bacteria in the gut and that lactic acid could prolong life. Based on this theory, he drank sour milk every day. He wrote three books: Immunity in Infectious Diseases, The Nature of Man, and The Prolongation of Life: Optimistic Studies, the last of which, along with his studies into the potential life-lengthening properties of lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus), inspired Japanese scientist Minoru Shirota to begin investigating a causal relationship between bacteria and good intestinal health, which eventually led to the worldwide marketing of kefir and other fermented milk drinks, or probiotics.” Meshnikov was so adamant that germs were not the cause of disease that he ate cultures of live Cholera to prove it.
- DR. RUDOLF VIRCHOW: Probably the most brilliant of all these men, Dr. Virchow (1821-1902) — a German / Prussian medical doctor — was also an, “anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist, writer, editor, and politician, known for his advancement of public health. He is known as the founder of social medicine, veterinary pathology, and to his colleagues was known as the ‘Pope of Medicine’“. He was said to have published over 2,000 scientific articles and 1858’s Cellular Pathology is still regarded as the text that earned him the title of “Father of Modern Pathology”. As an interesting side note to this issue; despite being an agnostic, he was an adamant ANTI-DARWINIST. It was Virchow who said, “If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat — diseased tissue — rather than being the cause of diseased tissue; i.e. mosquitoes seek the stagnant water, but do not cause the pool to become stagnant.“
If you’ll go back and look through my posts on ANTIBIOTICS (particularly THIS ONE), you’ll quickly notice that I have shown you from the peer-reviewed literature that they are causally related to things like Asthma (HERE), Allergies (HERE), and various skin conditions, including Eczema. And even though the studies we are discussing today do not deal with either of them, we also know that this class of drug is intimately related to health problems like OBESITY, DEPRESSION, and any number of other Chronic Inflammatory Degenerative Diseases. This is because 80% of your Immune System resides in your Gut (HERE). A failure to achieve and feed our bacterial diversity from early in life can mean a tougher row to hoe health-wise as we get older (HERE and HERE).
A brand new study from the medical journal Pediatrics (Allergy in Children in Hand Versus Machine Dishwashing) concluded that, “We found a lower prevalence of reported allergy in children aged 7 to 8 years from families who use hand dishwashing instead of machine dishwashing. This effect was further potentiated if they also ate fermented food or bought food directly from farms. We speculate that these lifestyle factors reduce allergy development via increased or more diverse microbial exposure, stimulating the immune system to develop in a more tolerant direction.” That, my friend, is the Hygiene Hypothesis in action. Exposure to germs — especially in children — leads to less chronic disease later in life. Remember this because it is going to be very important in a moment.
According to the “Hygiene Hypothesis” article from Clinical and Experimental Immunology, “The human gut is the natural niche for more than 1,000 different species [of bacteria]. Immediately after birth, the human gut is colonized with different strains of bacteria. This commensal microbiota is important in shaping the immune system, for other basic physiological functions, as well as for the integrity of the intestinal barrier.” Let’s talk about some of the ‘meat’ that’s in these two sentences.
- MORE THAN A THOUSAND SPECIES OF BACTERIA: Depending on who you read, the human Gut should contain somewhere between 500 and 2,000 different strains of bacteria. This is known as the “MICROBIOME“.
- TEN TIMES THE NUMBER OF BACTERIA IN YOUR MICROBIOME AS THERE ARE CELLS IN YOUR BODY: Although I cut it out of the quote above because I’m not sure how to do exponential numbers on my computer (10 to the 14th power), your body contains 10 times as many bacteria as you have cells. In other words, there’s a bunch of those little critters living in and on your body.
- GUT COLONIZATION STARTS IMMEDIATELY AFTER BIRTH: This is not technically true — or at least is shouldn’t be. As long as you were not born via C-Section, colonization actually starts during the birth process (HERE).
- THESE BACTERIA SHAPE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM: We know from quotes found at the top of the page and any number of others I could have come up with had I wished, that an absence of bacteria in youth leads to a whole host of very chronic diseases later on (chiefly CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES and AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES — the links contain lists of both). Dr. Art Ayers, whom I quoted from at the top of the page, is a Ph.D researcher whose chief area of study is the link between GUT HEALTH and INFLAMMATION, and his website (Cooling Inflammation) is largely devoted to this fact.
- GUT BACTERIA ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY NUMBER OF PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS: HERE are a few of them, but this list is growing by leaps and bounds with every new study published on the topic.
- THE “INTEGRITY” OF THE INTESTINAL BARRIER IS CRITICAL FOR YOUR HEALTH: A loss of ‘integrity’ in the intestinal barrier is commonly known as LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, although the medical community knows it by another name; Increased Intestinal Permeability. A Leaky Gut is intimately linked to Chronic Systemic Inflammation, as well as almost every disease process you can name. By the way, many of the same conditions that leave one with a Leaky Gut, can leave one with a “Leaky Brain”, where the “Blood / Brain Barrier” is similarly affected.
- COMMENSAL BACTERIA ARE IMPORTANT: The word “commensal” means, “an animal, plant, fungus, etc.) living with, on, or in another, without injury to either.” I believe that we could probably refer to the relationship as ‘symbiotic’ (both organisms gain benefit from each other) rather than commensal. When your ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria is disrupted, you end up with something called DYSBIOSIS. Interestingly enough, Dysbiosis can occur when you get your ratio of good bacteria to other good bacteria out of kilter as well (HERE). This is why PROBIOTICS are never a long-term solution to Chronic Gut-Related Health Issues such as the Autoimmunity these authors keep mentioning (HERE is more information on this).
WHAT ARE WE SEEING IN AMERICA TODAY?
Let’s see how many of these chronic conditions we can rattle off in ten seconds. Mark, set, go. CANCER, MS, EPILEPSY, AUTISM, RA, DJD, THYROID PROBLEMS, FIBROMYALGIA, SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION, NEUROPATHY, PARKINSON’S, ALZHEIMER’S, ANEMIA, GLUTEN SENSITIVITY, PR, MUPS, ADD/ADHD, DIABETES, SKIN PROBLEMS, and on and on and on and on and on and on…. All you have to do is do is pick one out of a hat, do a bit of research on it, and you’ll see that incidence has gone through the stratosphere. And it’s all occurred as the American people (both children and adults) are being increasingly inundated with vaccines and antibiotics.
I would never for a moment try and convince you that vaccines are the only reason for this explosion of Chronic Conditions. However, claiming that incredible amounts of Antibiotics given early and often, as well as today’s absurd Vaccination Schedules, plays no role in the chronic “sickening” of America, should make the astute observer at least stop and ponder. Especially if we understand and apply the Hygiene Hypothesis to the equation. But real quickly, let me bring this to where the rubber meets the road — the debate over the Measles Vaccine.
I’ve followed Niel Miller and his “Think Twice” website for years (I also own one of his books that’s probably about 20 years old — back when there was no internet). A couple weeks ago Miller wrote a short piece for The Age of Autism website called WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE NOT TO VACCINATE, concerning the effect of childhood infectious diseases (most particularly Measles) on the probability (it decreases it) of developing Cancer later in life. In other words, vaccinating against Measles increases your chances of developing Cancer — something we also know about Antibiotics (HERE). It’s a fascinating read that goes right along with today’s post, which is backed up with plenty of peer-reviewed literature. He even gives us a great example of an INVISIBLE AND ABANDONED STUDY concerning the known problems with THIMEROSAL (Mercury) in vaccines and its relationship to Autism.
HEAL THE GUT AND YOU HEAL
BOTH THE MIND AND THE BODY
- STOP BEING SO DAD-BLAMED CLEAN: Remember back when people bathed maybe once a month? I’m not suggesting we go back to that, but if you are using chemical cleaning products in your house or on your body, you may want to rethink some things (HERE). Especially when you realize that most of these also happen to be XENOESTROGENS. There are increasing numbers of articles on the world-wide web that describe people who “cure” chronic conditions (particularly SKIN CONDITIONS) simply by bathing less and without chemicals.
- GO PALEO: Instead of sitting here and giving you a whole list of dietary guidelines, I’ll give you only one — GO PALEO. Going “Paleo” means that you get plenty of FIBER, but have no fear of DIETARY FAT. Coconut Oil (especially the organic stuff that has a coconutty taste) is excellent for helping heal the Gut. The truth is, there are any number of foods, HERBS, products, etc, that can help in this process of healing the Gut. Do due diligence as you research, but make the foundation of whatever you do food.
- GET OUT IN THE GARDEN: I’m a big fan of organic gardening and GETTING DIRTY (we went out and tilled and planted the patch for our greens, spinach, and lettuce, just before the snow barrage started three weeks ago).
- HAVE MORE SEX: If there’s a better way of swapping bacteria and upgrading your Microbiome’s diversity, I haven’t discovered it yet.
- FOLLOW THE EXPERTS: If you want to get a handle fixing your Gut, there are any number of individuals I would read. Make sure to start with Dr. Art Ayers. Go to his FERMENTED VEGETABLES REPAIR GUT FLORA, and then read things from the people on his recommended sites. I would never for a moment consider myself an expert (I just read a lot), but I did create a post for you to get started with getting your life back (HERE).