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So here is the bottom line up front. Support for my position follows.
The important role of infection is bio-remediation
Infection is necessitated by inflammation
Inflammation is needed when there is cellular damage due to trauma or stress
Anyone growing up in our culture has been continually exposed to the belief that infections are bad. They can kill you, so therefore killing germs is good. One can find a variety of anti-bacterial and anti-fungal personal care or cleaning products on the market to ‘kill germs’. However, in nature, germs or microbes appear to be nature’s way of correcting the terrain, of breaking down and reducing dead material to usable products to support the living. That is, microbes are an important part of the recycling process. This includes environmental wastes and toxic chemicals. Bacteria have been used to process sewage in municipal plants for nearly a century and laboratory-grown bacteria have even been applied to oil spills to clean up the environment. Researchers have discovered that certain species of microbes can even attack metals, inorganic chemicals and compounds containing chlorine – wastes once deemed impossible targets for bio-remediation. Microbes with a taste for toxic chemicals are surprisingly easy to find at most hazardous waste sites – germs at work. Bacteria are even found ‘bio-remediating’ radioactive wastes sites and microbes have been discovered actively ‘gobbling up the Gulf Oil spill’. (And specific microbes abundant at oil spill locations are sparse at non-oil spill locations. Hmmm) And it is the action of microbes in the compost pile that transforms yard and kitchen wastes into good garden nutrients. So how does this apply to our health? There are over 500 microbial strains in our own intestines that reduce our food into absorbable nutrients. So then, one must ask, might the germs that we call ‘infections’ be actually bio-remediating our damaged or non-functioning tissue? Living detoxifiers? God’s plan?
God made everything, AND, said that everything He made was ‘good’ (Gen 1:31). This must include all the microbes (including the maligned Candida Albicans) as well as parasites, because nothing else was created after He pronounced that all that He made was good. I propose for consideration that there is a good purpose for these creations and that ‘bio-remediation’ is in their job description as a benefit to all nature. That is, ‘infections’ serve to clean up and detoxify us of damaged/dysfunctional tissue so it can be quickly replaced with new healthy tissue. A critical job. One might ask, “But what about people who die of MRSA or pneumonia or other infections?” Clearly these infections are present when a person dies BUT was their role causative or remediative? For example, if you find me at the scene of a crime does that mean I caused it? I came to help the victim but my presence is associated with causation, not remediation. My politically incorrect but professionally plausible opinion is that microbes and parasites are present only because tissue bio-remediation is needed, and in such a capacity they are aiding the life process not killing it. So what then do these people really die from if not from the ‘infection’? My answer would be that they were overwhelmed with critical tissue dysfunction that was needed to continue life. The insufficiency of remediating microbes due to anti-biotics and anti-fungals left the critical tissue in a state of disrepair unable to rebuild because of accumulated debris. And what caused the critical tissue dysfunction in the first place? Well, often an inflammatory diet, usually stress but also toxic exposure or tissue trauma.
I have observed that when people come to me with active ‘infection’ that they do not test for remedies considered to have antimicrobial properties (see ‘natural anti-biotic?’ discussion) but rather for those that improve the circulation and/or the energy production. These kinds of herbs aid in the quick creation of healthy functioning tissue, reducing the need for bio-remediation (a.k.a. ‘infection’). When these people return for their follow-up, they report no symptoms of their ‘infection’. This has happened repeatedly and has not only forced me to rethink this matter and change my paradigm but has also shown me a better way to approach ‘infection’.
This positive view of infection is also held by the German New Medicine. Here, in Dr. Hamer’s theory of disease, he explains the etiology of cancer and cancer-like diseases, and the role of microbes in the resolution of these diseases. He has observed that when certain fungal strains are present, cancerous tumors will be digested by those microbes. In Dr. Hamer’s words, microbes are “indispensable biological garbage men and the restorer of our organism.” When people with cancer had come to me for nutritional assistance, I would always find Candida involvement and my training had convinced me that these yeast infections were causative. My observations have taught me that they are actually curative and I was happy to find Dr. Hamer’s work to see I’m not the only one who has observed this. And furthermore my experiences have shown me that the best way to avoid ‘infection’ is to stop causing the problem by eliminating inflammatory foods, work on improving energy and tissue integrity and to emphasize stress reduction.
The so-called ‘auto-immune’ diseases also develop when there are insufficient bioremediators available, that is, in the absence of a full deck of microbial strains. These microbes are the most efficient remediators in the effort to rectify a necrotic tissue state rendering the least amount of inflammation or collateral damage. Folks with an auto-immune diagnosis have often been victims of strong or lengthy anti-biotic or anti-fungal treatment from which they have not completely recovered. The induced digestive derangement further handicaps their return to health causing fatigue. In the absence of these bio-remediators, the body goes to ‘Plan B’ where dysfunctional tissue must be broken down by the immune system with the use of the superoxide anion produced by the white blood cells (and other cells) and the resultant cellular debris resorbed via phagocytosis. The use of the superoxide anion is associated with much collateral inflammation – the hallmark of ‘auto-immune diseases’. Those in medicine who have adopted the ‘dumb body’ paradigm conclude that ‘the body is attacking itself’. No, the intelligent design has to resort to its backup Plan B for its repair process because of insufficient bioremediators. Less inflammation results when dysfunctional tissue is reduced via microbial action a.k.a. ‘infection’, or let me coin a new term here ‘bio-detoxification’.
Researchers have also found that autistic children often have insufficient bioremediators. A likely contributing cause is mom having insufficient bioremediators to pass on due to poor recovery from anti-biotic use. Successful attempts to reverse autism employ fermented foods (see below) as an important and effective part of the protocol.
The conclusion of the matter is that microbes from the very beginning were aiding the life process. But, because they were observed under the microscope when a disease process was active, they were considered the cause of that disease. It is advisable to rethink this practice and replenish our system with our living ‘bio-detoxifiers’.
Restocking your Bio-Detoxifiers
Many important bacterial and fungal strains should exist in the lumen of the intestines for good health. This ecosystem detoxifies harmful substances that you might have consumed (like they do elsewhere in nature), reduces raw foods into absorbable nutrients (if ‘raw food goes right through me’ then this ecosystem is ailing) and produces many important, life-enhancing compounds including vitamins. In addition, these are held in reserve for dispatching anywhere in the body. If you have a ‘full deck’ of these microbes, which can number between 500 and 1000 different species, then they are your best ally in good and vigorous digestion which is a pre-requisite of glowing health. However, if you are the unfortunate victim of many rounds of antibiotics, and anti-fungals, well, sorry – you have to restore your full deck. Evidences of an incomplete deck include first of all fatigue, then intestinal gas, excessive burping, intestinal cramping, failure to thrive, diarrhea, and inability to gain weight. And these are just the beginnings of many other sorrows.
To restock the gut and reverse pharmaceutical damage, many people will eat yogurt ‘with live culture’. Unfortunately hundreds of beneficial bacterial strains are decimated or made dormant by antibiotics and similarly the fungal strains with anti-fungals (like liver-damaging Diflucan). The commercially prepared yogurts usually contain one or two bacterial strains. On the other hand, foods rich in beneficial microbes include homemade ferments and cultures. Homemade kefir (made from real kefir grains), homemade sauerkraut and other lacto-fermented veggies (pickles, onions, etc.) are easy to make and are some of the best foods to re-inoculate the gut and complete the deck. Real home-made kefir has from 50 to 60 kinds of microbes including 18 strains of lactobacilli, 8 various cocci-type strains, 11 mycelial strains, 6 beneficial Candida strains, and many other fungal strains as well as acetobacter strains. Kefir is highly respected as an anti-inflammatory, a digestive corrector and an immune adjunct (for reasons given above). Commercially available kefir is often pasteurized, killing all microbes and then 12-20 are added back in, but this is still a good start. The sauerkraut sold in supermarkets is also usually pasteurized. Pasteurization kills all the microbes; stops the fermentation; and allows the sauerkraut to be stored a long time. For more information on making cultured and fermented foods, consult with the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. For those not inclined to engage in ferments and cultures, there are good and potent supplements like ProBiotic 11 (#1510-1).
Maintaining your Bio-Detoxifiers
Restocking your gut with microbes is like planting seeds in your garden. With proper conditions they will get re-established and multiply, populating all the crevices where their favored conditions exist, and joining the work force in the digestive process. If you find that you must keep taking them then this is an indicator that your gut conditions are unsuitable for them to re-establish. And that is usually an indicator the the liver is not able to maintain a suitable pH for them via the bile. The liver has a major role in setting up conditions for digestion so if you continually need probiotics check out the liver document.
©Pat Block ND 2008
Consider this…..I have learned more from very sick people than I have from double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over studies. My sick clients taught me how to get them well - things that even my teachers didn't know. I have such smart clients.
** Important Warning **Nothing on this site is FDA approved. Nothing I write here is intended to be medical advice. Follow my recommendations at your own risk. Results may vary, and blah, blah, blah. So if the required warnings have not scared you away, then you have a chance. I'm reporting here what kinds of approaches actually helped very sick people get well, AND the kinds of things that actually made them sick (and it usually isn't lack of exercise, weight, menopause or smoking - it is the underlying cause of all those things.)
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