[ExI] Human health catastrophe, was Re: Book on Parasites

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Sat Mar 16 01:33:21 UTC 2019

Quoting Jeff Davis:

> A bit of good news to brighten your day.
> In referencing the microbial community, rather than the disparaging term
> 'parasites', perhaps 'inventory' or 'resource' might be more apt.

The technical term is microbiome, or simply microflora.

> In1942, the 'miracle' drug penicillin launched the antibiotic era.  In the
> ensuing ninety years, the development of new antibiotics, their
> ever-increasing use promoted by the tragically misguided notion that
> "bacteria are bad, and antibiotics are good", has ***POISONED*** the human
> microbiome worldwide.  Combined with the sterilization of the human living
> environment, this has resulted in a worldwide human health catastrophe.

Antibiotics poisoned some microorganisms and gave others a huge growth  
advantage. Keep in mind that almost all known antibiotics are  
synthesized by some microorganisms to kill other competing  
microorganisms and those organisms have also evolved counter-measures.  
Our medicine simply borrowed these molecules from their original  

> The lower bowel is an immune system organ, containing 90% (I've read this,
> but can't vouch for the numbers) of the cells of the human immune system.

There are a lot of white blood cells in the intestines (and over 100  
million neurons too meaning the gut processes information so maybe  
there is something to "gut feelings") but not 90% of the immune  
system. That beings said there is a large concentration of immune  
cells in the gut but I would say more like to 30%-50% than 90%. You  
might be thinking of the also controversial statistic that 90% of the  
cells in the human body are not human but microbial. Insofar as one  
can culture bacteria, we are all as rugged libertarian individuals  
also simultaneously a multicultural empire of cells as it were. Fancy  
that if you would.

> The human body is an ecosystem. The microbiome is a vital part of that
> system that has co-evolved with its host organism, over the 650 million
> years since the Cambrian explosion, so as to maintain the host in an
> ****optimal**** state of health.

The human body is an ecosystem and an economy. The human body is  
delicate political balance between genetic rules, chemical  
communication, and selfish interest on the part of cells and the genes  
within those cells. It is also a vast system of chemical synthesis,  
communications, and transportation networks between those cells both  
human and microbial.

> I would suggest that the plague of ***ALL*** the 'mysterious' auto-immune
> diseases with 'unknown' causes -- asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, MS,
> obesity/type2 diabetes -- along with those gastrointestinal disorders --
> Crohn's disease, IBS, ulcerative colitis, and C. diff infections(proven) --
> are the result of the destruction of the human microbiome by the widespread
> use of antibiotics.  And this has been worsened by the sterilization of the
> human living space -- particularly urban -- which clears out the natural
> microbial population, preventing both the initial colonization of the young
> and limiting opportunity for subsequent recolonization following antibiotic
> destruction.

No. For example, asthma is first described in ancient Greek texts, by  
the same name no less and, x-rays have found evidence of rheumatoid  
arthritis in Egyptian mummies. Both  of which predate human use of  
antibiotics. Multiple Sclerosis is probably more about vitamin D  
deficiency than about the microbiome but the microbiome is fashionable  
to study so I would not be surprised if some small correlation could  
be found in the literature. Furthermore Clostridium diffiCiles (C  
diff) is an antibiotic-resistant bacteria not an autoimmune disease.

On the other hand, a link between microbiome and the intestinal  
diseases you mention is very likely and obesity does correlate with  
intestinal microflora in mice. So  IBS and other intestinal disorders  
could in fact be partly dependent on the intestinal flora. Peptic  
Ulcers certainly are with regards to Helicobacter pylori so ulcerative  
colitis may very well be as well.

Things, especially in biology, are usually more complicated than a  
single cause or a single cure. You are a collection of hundreds of  
trillions of beings all playing prisoner's dilemma with one another.  
When your bacterial cells defect on you, you get a boil or a tummy  
ache. When your actual human cells defect on you, you get cancer.

> The bad news is that nearly the entire human world population, excepting
> primitive peoples too remote for access to modern medicine, have had, or
> are on course to having, their health massively damaged.  The good news is
> that both the prevention and quite possibly the cure for this human health
> catastrophe, is cheap, easy, and immediately at hand. It is not beyond
> hoping that humanity could be poised on the brink of an unprecedented
> lifting of the burden of all manner of quality-of-life-destroying disease.

Beware of hucksters selling panaceas.

> If you poll the list of references in the paper linked below, you will find
> that the preponderance of research on the microbiome has taken place in
> only the last dozen or so years.  This is, astonishingly, only just
> recently a "Eureka! moment" for human health science.
> I am hopeful of the very real possibility of huge near term improvements in
> human health/quality of life, accompanied by improved prosperity from
> substantial reductions in health care costs: health care costs for healthy
> people are way less than for sick people.  (Well, duh!)
> An ecological and evolutionary perspective on human?microbe mutualism and
> disease
> https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5902740_Dethlefsen_L_McFall-Ngai_M_Relman_DA_An_ecological_and_evolutionary_perspective_on_human-microbe_mutualism_and_disease_Nature_449_811-818

Yes, it is great that we are finally waking up to how interconnected  
we are with our microflora.

> There is a great deal more to this story, and here is where it almost goes
> into ye olde conspiracy theory.  In 2013, the FDA issued a decision
> prohibiting any licensed health care professional from administering either
> the cure or the preventive protocol.  Do you believe it?!  It seems like
> the FDA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the big pharma and the health
> insurance business, and they want to protect their revenue stream ***BY
> KEEPING EVERYONE SICK!!***.  I don't think it's intentional, but rather a
> confirmation of Upton Sinclair's observation:
> "*It is difficult to get a man to understand
> <https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Understand> something, when his salary
> depends upon his not understanding it!*"

Nice quote.

Stuart LaForge

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