"THE MICROBIAL-POLLUTION CONNECTION"
Last October for five days in Boston, Massachusetts, the theme of the 31st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine was "World Out of Balance: the Microbial-Pollution Connection: Wake Up Call." Your editor received a "press pass" to the fascinating meetings. Following is a brief summary:
First, it is enlightening to realize fully that our own bodies, the earth, plants, and the bodies of other animals are host to a vast number of microorganisms. Many of them are friendly:
On the other hand, some of these organisms can be the "culprit" in "any infectious process," including rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever, Crohn’s disease (inflammation with scarring and thickening of the bowel wall), pneumonia, and meningitis.1
Several of the lecturers described how microorganisms can change form and/or sometimes invade human cells, causing our bodies to mistake our own cells for invaders and then our immune systems attack our own tissues, resulting in autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis.
Many of the lecturers described ways for us to enhance our immune systems in order to fight disease. One example was "Photo OxidationûUsing Ultraviolet C Irradiation of Blood: An Effective Treatment for Infectious Diseases" by Robert J. Rowan, MD, of Anchorage, Alaska. He cited both German and American literature. Among the effects listed are: increase in free radicals; lowering of the blood-clotting tendencies; and increase in blood cells: both those that carry oxygen and those that enhance our immunity. The first effect reminds us of our continuing need for antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, in order to quench free radicals. Indications from the German literature include peripheral and central arterial occlusive disease, including stroke; venous ulcers of the leg; liver disease; migraine; psoriasis; chronic intestinal inflammation; cancer (as an adjunct treatment); eye diseases, including macular degeneration; multiple sclerosis; kidney diseases; and arthritis. His summary of the American literature includes positive results with infections of all types, both acute and chronic (bacterial, viral, fungal, and from protozoa); asthma; acute and chronic inflammatory conditions; skin disorders; trauma; toxic conditions of all kinds, including snake bite or any organic poisoning; general detoxification (bacterial toxins, vaccinations); and cancer.
Several speakers described conditions for a healthy gut and problems when certain organisms infect and sometimes invade the gut wall, rather than just passing through us or inhabiting the gut in a friendly, balanced, and healthy manner. Amazingly, "the number of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract approaches the total number of cells in the body." William Shaw, PhD, has found that some microbes produce their own organic acids that can be detected in a patient’s urine. Elevated levels of these microbial metabolites have been associated with many diseases including autism, seizures, attention deficit disorder with and without hyperactivity, depression, fibromyalgia, and schizophrenia.
Most antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria but do not affect yeast and fungi, including the many species of Candida, which proliferate rapidly in the gut when no longer balanced by our friendly bacteria. There are many references in the medical literature about the association between antibiotic use and fungal overgrowth. Unfortunately, many doctors have ignored this connection. NOHA Honorary Member William G. Crook, MD, has published numerous books alerting the general public about The Yeast Connection.. This Spring he has published two more booklets: one on The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ; and the other entitled, There Are Better Ways To Help These Children ,2 in which he deals with hyperactivity, attention deficits, school failure, and juvenile delinquency. He points out that "juvenile delinquency, crime, alcoholism, and drug abuse are increasing" and that "many young people with these problems give a history of hyperactivity and the attention deficit disorder (‘ADHD’)." He also gives medical references showing that "children with repeated ear infections are much more apt to develop hyperactivity." Customarily, as these children receive repeated courses of antibiotics for their ear infections, the friendly bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts are killed along with the infectious ones. The Candida proliferates and puts out toxins that weaken the immune system, resulting in further infections. At the meetings, Reinhard Hauss, PhD, explained how the yeast can change its form and produce toxins that can destroy parts of the gut lining. Also, the yeasts sometimes block being destroyed by large cells of our immune systems even after being ingested by them. The yeast "can then hide in these cells like a Trojan Horse and can pass through the intestinal mucosa without being detectable by the other components of the immune system." Similarly, Dr. Crook states, "Candida weakens the normal intestinal membrane, creating what has been termed a ‘leaky gut.’ Food allergens and/or toxins may then pass through this membrane and go to other parts of the body." Consequently, "Candida overgrowth in the gut also increases a child’s chances of developing food allergies." As we know from the work of NOHA Professional Advisory Board member, the late Theron G. Randolph, MD, food allergens and chemical toxins can cause a host of mental and physical illnesses. Dr. Crook summarizes "the ear infection - antibiotic - Candida (yeast) - immune system - food sensitivity - hyperactivity - juvenile delinquency connection" as follows:
Ear Infections Antibiotics
More ear infections Wipe out friendly bacteria
Weakens the immune system Toxins Candida multiplies
Attention Deficits Food allergens
Juvenile are absorbed
Note the vicious, negative cycle of: antibiotics --> kill good bacteria --> more Candida --> toxins --> weakened immune system --> more infections --> antibiotics!
While Candida overload is being reduced by specific antifungal medications and/or homeopathic remedies, it is also helpful to replace the friendly bacteria, including various strains of Lactobacilli -- so-called "probiotics," so named because they enhance life in contrast to the "antibiotics," which kill living organisms. In regard to the efficacy of the probiotics, we have an interesting quotation from Khem Shahani, PhD:
Two speakers presented disturbing information about microbial infections. In his lecture, "The Role of Mycoplasma incognitum in the Gulf War Syndrome," Garth Nicolson, PhD, stated that relatives of Gulf War veterans have become sick with similar symptoms, which points to a role for infectious organisms. Leonard Horowitz, DDS, presented "provocative evidence" that the AIDS virus may have been manmade.
On "The Microbial-Pollution Connection" a number of speakers pointed out the immune-depressing effects of many manmade pollutants and how exposure to these toxins can enhance the virulence of disease-causing microbes. Sherry Rogers, MD, stated that the medical literature is full of references on how pesticides and many other manmade poisons damage the immune system. Also, for detoxication to take place, many extra nutrients need to be ingested. She spells out ways for us to decrease our total load. These recommendations are familiar to NOHA NEWS readers from Dr. Boxer’s article, "Environmental Control," in NOHA NEWS, Spring 1994, and Dr. Stone’s two articles, "Protecting Your Immune System" and "Protecting Your Health, Part II" in NOHA NEWS, Fall 1987 and Fall 1993.
In his lecture "Meeting the Challenge of The Modern Environment: The Role of Glutathione in Health and Disease," Scott Luper, ND, pointed out that "reduced glutathione levels drop in response to exposure to virulent microorganisms, environmental toxins, heavy metals, toxic medications, and sources of ionizing radiation." AIDS, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis are some of the chronic degenerative diseases that are associated with deficiencies of reduced glutathione. To be effective glutathione needs to be in the reduced state. Certain natural red and blue plant pigments can help recycle the glutathione to the reduced state.
Two of the speakers pointed out deleterious health effects from silver amalgam fillings with their high content of mercury. In regard to all types of implants, William Rea, MD, stated:
Dr. Rea gave several lectures at the meetings. His most basic lecture was on the "Ground Regulation System," which "is extremely important in understanding environmental sensitivity since it is the system that is open ended and environmentally responsive." It is the extracellular matrix in our bodies. It engulfs every tissue and cell, is extremely dynamic, and shows up as fascinating networks, which, as a surgeon, Dr. Rea has observed for many years. It contains the ends of the autonomic nervous system and the final, tiniest vessels the circulatory system. It supplies nutrients to all our tissues and cells and it removes waste. It comprises 40% of our body weight, contains fourteen to sixteen liters of water, and is the system in our bodies that maintains homeostasis, in other words, balance. Many of its molecules are charged and provide a wonderful information dissemination system as well as memory. Any disturbance in the balance triggers the charged molecules, which in a healthy system will immediately distribute the information and then return to their original charged condition. We can think of the changes in electric charges as a wave of information. However, in an overloaded or damaged system, retriggering can take place, giving very fast waves so the system can become extremely reactive. Also, proper electrical polarization of the molecules may not reoccur, "eventually turning sols to gels. Once this process is complete there is chronic signaling of misinformation, resulting in inappropriate homeostatic responses, with heightened sensitivity. Then non-toxic substances such as food will trigger the system."
When balance is disturbed, say by a pollutant, the first event is that the area involved becomes more acid. We recall Dr. Randolph’s recommendation to take alkali salts immediately. Dr. Rea points out that this is still the best first procedure. In fact, the aim is to keep the reaction short so that homeostasis can be reestablished quickly and without alerting the immune system.
When the ground regulation system is out of balance, many types of therapy can help restore homeostasis, including:
Dr. Rea also presented a type of therapy that often works with patients who had not recovered or recovered completely with all the usual procedures including cleaning up their environment, food avoidance and rotation, and appropriate nutrition supplementation. They were also not helped with standard medications and injections. In these cases a vaccine was prepared and grown from the patient’s own secretions: "Autogenous Lymphocyte Factor (ALF)." It would seem that some patients develop their own strain of pathogens and then the specific treatment can be successful.
Finally, an exciting development: Adam Werbach, the president of the Sierra Club and son of NOHA lecturer Melvin Werbach, MD, was our banquet speaker. He told us that the Sierra Club needs to set up a "Health Defense Fund" in cooperation with the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and that the doctors in the Academy are on the cutting edge of health care for the future.
1Lida Mattman, PhD, "Cell Wall Deficient Bacteria. Their Surprising Role in Health and Illness."
2These two large-sized, shiney-covered booklets (20 pages and 32 pages) contain many medical referencesûoften the first page of an article with important exploded quotes superimposed. (All are published with permission.) Dr. Crook’s text and illustrations express the message of each booklet with vivid clarity. They can be purchased for $5.00 each from the International Health Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 3494, Jackson, TN 38303-3494.
Article from NOHA NEWS, Vol. XXII, No. 2, Spring 1997, pages 5-6.