Bugs and Us

By Dr. Graham

She said she’d like to bathe in milk and he said, “Alright sweetheart”.

And when he’d finished work one night, he loaded up the cart.

He said, “Do you want it pasteurized, cos pasteurized is best”?

She said, “Ernie I’ll be happy if it comes up to me chest”.

That tickled old Ernie……

The above is from a funny song by Benny Hill. Personally I’ve never had the pleasure of bathing in milk.

Pasteurization is the term given to the process of using heat to destroy microbes to prevent food spoilage and increase food ‘safety’. Its inventor was Louis Pasteur a French microbiologist of the mid 1800s whose world view in summary was that microbes can be harnessed in fermentation but they also cause disease. Therefore for absence of disease, microbes should be destroyed. The term “Germ theory” had already been coined but was reinforced by Pasteur’s work.

At the time of Pasteur there was another scientist, Antoine Bechamp, who claimed it was vulnerability – caused by environmental stressors and ripe internal conditions – that were at the core of health breakdown and disease. This idea became known as the “Host theory”. Although these two men were apparently bitter rivals it seems they both acknowledged microbes played a role in disease.

What is important for us is how we interpret the work of these founding scientists.

If we look at the two theories we may derive useful strategies for creating and maintaining lifelong great health. For example, science researchers are increasingly giving us feedback about the beneficial roles played by bacteria in our gut and beyond. Even as I write this I note on ABC’s Catalyst there is a program on the topic called “Gut Revolution” and one of the topics they explore is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS.

“Micro-biome” is the term given to a person’s total microbial population, being the various species of microbes or bugs. There is increasing awareness about the role certain bacteria play in proper conversion of food to optimal nutrient absorption for our body to function properly. Scientists admit they have only identified a small percentage of total micro-biome knowledge. They do know some bugs play a specific role in immunity but I would suggest no matter the specific role, all beneficial bacteria play a protective role. This is because if all available “bug space” is taken up by beneficial critters, there is far less space and resources available for a disease causing microbe to take hold and multiply.

If we took the view of Pasteur only and knock out all microbes, our body would become a toxic undernourished wasteland. If we took the view of Bechamp to the extreme and did not use knock-down strategies when necessary, there could be times when despite a pro-biotic approach, we become overwhelmed by the wrong microbes and get sick. Farmers know they need plenty of good bugs (and worms!! Not for us though 😉 ) in their soil. Good bugs maintain soil pH and the right conditions for plants to absorb nutrients. Ask them how much more fertilizer they have to buy if the soil conditions aren’t right!! Now farmers know they need to minimize chemical application and put composting material in the soil if they want to keep good bugs thriving and make a living off the land. The same is true for us. Minimise the chemicals, only use bug killers when necessary and keep the good bugs happy!! We can do this by using BOTH the theories championed by Pasteur and Bechamp.

  1. Eat fermented foods (Pasteur) and other life enhancing foods thus increase health and resilience, meaning there are less resources available for opportunistic invaders (Bechamp).
  2. Minimise antibiotic use to when necessary only and see if your doctor would consider a specific drug instead of a more general one that would kill good bacteria as well. Also research other forms of natural bug control that may be used before antibiotics. Sometimes this works effectively and is worth looking at as a first line.

Reference: Benny Hill – Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) Youtube. Good for a laugh which is also good for your immunity and health