90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Your Inner Ecosystem

Trillions of bacteria live in our bodies.  They outnumber our human cells, 10 to 1.  So who’s in charge?  What are we?

Bacteria under a microscope.

Bacteria under a microscope.

Maybe you thought your body was a noble castle poised against the onslaughts and invasions of the world.  Well, think again.  It turns out, we are the world.  Our bodies are loaded with a jungle of microbial life, inside and out, that is essential to healthy life.

New science has found ten times as many bacteria cells as human cells in and on the human body.  A load of microbes that work with us from the moment of birth in all kinds of key ways.  Killing them off, avoiding them, may make us sick.  Make us fat.

This hour, On Point:  Microbes are us.  The amazing full ecology of the human body.

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Jennifer Ackerman, a writer for Scientific American, she’s also the author of Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold; Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream. Here recent cover story for Scientific American is here.

Martin Blaser, chair of the Department of Medicine and professor of microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine.  He’s also the funder of the Foundation for Bacteriology and the Virtual Museum of Bacteria.

Bernat Olle, principal at PureTech Ventures, a venture firm focused on the creation of life science companies.

From Tom’s Reading List

Scientific American “Biologists once thought that human beings were phys­iological islands, entirely capable of regulating their own internal workings. Our bodies made all the enzymes needed for breaking down food and using its nutrients to power and repair our tissues and organs. Signals from our own tissues dictated body states such as hunger or satiety. ”

Los Angeles Times “It gives scientists a reference point of what the microbial community looks like in healthy people, and they plan to use it to study how changes in a person’s microbiome can lead to illness.”

The New York Times “For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Yar

    Start by defining inside the body instead of the gut.  We are a Torus, 
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/Sphere-like_degenerate_torus.gif

    I expect raw milk will come up in today’s discussion.  Instead of fighting for raw milk, why not fight for the right to pasteurize milk yourself.  Raw milk is no more toxic than raw hamburger, yet we can still buy raw meat.  The milk debate is more about controlling price, by preventing a farmer from selling his product directly to the consumer.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I drank it for years, growing up on a farm, and doing the milking before and after school.  I was sick LESS than most of my class-mates.
         They have to quarantine astronauts, when they return, so their bodies can re-aclimate to the normal biological mix!

      • Warren

        It was the GRREEEEDY MICROBES.The Greeeedy  MICROBES

        • Terry Tree Tree

          It Would be NICE if the microbes could heal you of the damages you have done to yourself!

          • Drew (GA)

            He can hurt himself all he likes, my concern is the damage he does to the rest of us.

    • aga

       What does a nuva ring have to do with today’s topic?

  • Jasoturner

    Presumably Lynn Margulis gets brought up today…

    Science continues to chip away at our conception of ourselves as knockoff chunks of divine matter possessed with an unquantifiable soul that shall retire to the clouds after we shed our mortal coil.  We are not exactly machines, but we are complex creatures that do not fully understand ourselves either physically or mentally.

    I personally cannot be offended about the microbiome and the role that bacteria play in keeping me alive.  Being alive is precious enough to take it any way you can get it.

    • RolloMartins

      May I cautiously recommend, since we “do not fully understand ourselves either physically or mentally,” not to dismiss out of hand the ideas of the divine and soul? We know next to nothing, after all.

      • Jasoturner

        You may, but given that there is not a scintilla of evidence for such things, I am rather skeptical.

        • AC

          the Uncertainty Principle as applied to real life, lol!

      • J__o__h__n

        Not knowing isn’t the same as embracing false answers. 

      • Drew (GA)

        Next to nothing? Absolutely nothing. The best motivator to seek knowledge is a self-realization that we suffer from a lack of it.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    This is going to freak out all those poor souls who fear microbes. A whole industry has grown out of their fear of germs. Are not these folks unwittingly actively breeding super bugs?

    Personally, I embrace a 10 second rule for peanut M&Ms, apples and the like: I actively exercise my autoimmune system :^))

    • BEEZ

      I knew about the 5 second rule, I guess the 10 (or more) second rule is applied in variant proportion to how good the food is.
      I guess their saving grace is knowing the epidermal layers have some of the lowest concentration of microbes.

  • nj_v2

    Perhaps soil microbiology will get a mention. A handful or so of good, friable soil contains more individual microbes—fungi, bacteria, nematodes, rotifers, and dozens of other species—than there are people on the planet. 

    Among other things, this vast, complex ecosystem makes nutrients available to plants in forms they can use and keeps us from getting buried under ever accumulating layers of dead plant material. 

    Fungi are particularly remarkable. Attached to roots, some species are able to connect different species of trees so that hundreds or thousands of individual trees, growing across vast areas, share material compounds and energy!

  • AC

    what happens to the inner ecosystem when you travel? sometimes I’m not sure whether i should be more worried in a foreign country or breathing recycled air on the plane for so long…..i don’t mind my microbiomes, i just don’t want them mixing and mingling w/o my say so ;)

    • Henry

      I lived in Africa eight years and know my microbiome changed. I had a job that took me back once or twice per year after that, and I have told people when I return, I could practically feel my resident bacteria shaking hands with their old friends.  I’d wake up early each morning with cramps, thoroughly be cleaned out and spend the rest of my day without a problem.  I got sick far less often than others who were new to the territory who sometimes accompanied me.  I have very old friends who I believe are still alive today because their resident microbe population has friendly aliens from the time they spent abroad.  I do everything in my power not ever to take a broadspectrum antibiotic.  I know everything I say is anecdotal, but it is great to hear the program today give my comments validity.

  • Greyman

    Another topical concern would be allaying fears of the widespread advent of those malign “flesh-eating bacteria” afflicting that young woman in Georgia. Her case seems from press reports to have resulted from infection from an “external” source (contaminated river water, was that it?) and insufficient or untimely attention to a deep cut she suffered. Are “good bacteria” ordinarily well equipped to help our organisms stave off opportunistic infections? Seems they might have some symbiotic incentive to do so. 

    • AC

      last time i was stuck in the icu ward, there was a man there for 2yrs because he had this tho i think they called it ‘staff’, we were swabbed everyday to make sure it wasn’t spreading. i was told this is one of the reasons hospitals are re-structuring into single patient only rooms…..

      • Drew (GA)

        Staff infection is no joke and it’s also one of the reasons those who know about it avoid hospitals like the plague.

      • Roy Mac

        I think it was a ‘staph’ infection, but the ‘staff’ were likely responsible.

        • Drew (GA)

          Nice! That was my reasoning in not pointing out the spelling difference.

    • Sam Walworth

      In otherwise under developed economies at least in India, “flesh eating bacteria” MOSTLY and ONLY affects people with SEVERELY degraded Immunity i.e. Cancer or people with advanced Diabetes (with very poor A1C) etc..

      That sort of tells that we are killing too many bacteria here in our addiction to be “germ free”

  • Ellen Dibble

    Noted two nights ago, interviewed on Charlie Rose, 
    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12415, ”
    Dr. Peter Piot is a former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, former Executive Director of the UN specialized agency UNAIDS, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a professor at Imperial College London. In 2004, he was awarded the Vlerick Award. He is the author of No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses.” Basically, he was talking about the microbiome, the significance of the nonhuman genetic material that is part of us, as I recall it, where research is tending, where the greatest threats lie.
    As I recall, he said that human infants are born “sterile,” but that grown people are outnumbered vastly by the nonhuman material in our bodies, mostly helpful, if we are tuned properly, immune-wise, that being our evolutionary manner of being (as I understand it). I have my doubts about being born “sterile,” but I respect him.

    • BEEZ

      Technically, infants are not born sterile, because as soon as they pass through the birth canal, they are exposed to “foreign” microbes.

      • Ellen Dibble

        This seems to suggest, though, that a mother’s bloodstream contains none of this microbiome, nor the placenta. 

        • stacy h

          but we know things are crossing the placenta.

  • Greyman

    Also, because science remains as susceptible to zany conjecture and surmise as any body of religious or spiritual discourse, it’s probably not to early to begin disabusing ourselves of notions that microbes can or do control or influence our volition. During Ms. Ackerman’s introduction, the notion “the microbes made me do it!” flashed involuntarily through my pedestrian mind.

    • nj_v2

      The Grey One proffers “…science remains as susceptible to zany conjecture and surmise as any body of religious or spiritual discourse…”

      Not hardly. By definition.

      Fail.

      • Greyman

        Dear nj: I am no scientist, no philosopher of science, and
        no historian of science and do not represent myself as any such (I am a mere
        scribe with a limited range of interests). Are you yourself any of these? When
        I Google “superseded scientific theories” and follow the links
        provided for “fringe science” and “pseudo-science”, however,
        I begin to get the picture I loosely described above. Further, if you read my
        post closely, along with the typo “to” for “too” at the end of the second line,
        you will see that I spoke jocularly not so much of the practice of science by
        scientists as of the ill-informed but ready appropriation of science by the
        general public and the intersection of science with social psychology: which
        accounts, e.g., for the contemporary mania for anti-bacterial products that
        other posters mentioned here today, or for the religious fervor of enviromania
        we both saw on display in last week’s discussion of the Bill McKibben lovefest.
        On another hand I’m a bit curious now about your conception of science, what
        you think it consists of, how you think it proceeds (does your cryptic formula “by
        definition” suggest that science infallibly arrives at definitive,
        incontestable “truth”, or that it even satisfactorily provides single, definitive
        explanations of phenomena? If so, perhaps you are in position to decide for us
        all that light necessarily and strictly be understood as either wave or
        particle, or maybe you can settle the unresolved measurement problem in quantum
        mechanics with a ruling on wavefunction collapse. [On the latter, if you tell
        no one else, tell Schrödinger’s poor cat, please.]). Have you read Pierre Duhem
        or Paul Feyerabend, btw? It’s all so tricky . . . .

  • Julia

    Awesome program. What about autism?

    • Warren

      Have your babies at 20 instead of 40

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Do these findings lend more credability to commonly held beliefs such as playing in the dirt as a child being good for your immune system and overall health?

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me one can change the microbiome by changing the heavy metals we carry.  Maybe not so many people know this, because insurance doesn’t pay for provoked testing of heavy metal body load, nor for chelating those metals out, but I have been chelating a lot of those metals out for a couple of years, mindful that I’ve read that lead and mercury in the 19th century, as I recall, were used as antibiotics, for syphilis for instance — if I’m remembering rightly.  Anyway, I expected my body to have to adapt to a new microbiome.  And I think this is happening this week.  I can feel a new set of what my dad used to call “menders” going to work behind my eyes, low in my brain, in between bouts of dry heaves.  It’s a wild ride.  But I like to think I have an idea of what’s going on.  My gut, my brain, my skin, all those things could use a new and better set, and I hope I’m getting there, not without a bit of excitement.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Speedy Improvement, Ellen!

  • Drew (GA)

    Tom said poop transplant, I lol’d. This has to be the strangest hour one I’ve ever heard. Interesting though.

    Mitochondria rule!

    And I’m loving the Radiolab insert, I knew I’d heard that 2-5 lb. statistic recently.

  • Charles Vigneron

    If we have two to five pounds of bacteria is it weight proportional; when the proportions become unbalanced is disease found?

  • Mbhilt

    Could the increase in C-sections have anything to do with the increase in allergies?

    • jippy

      That’s something we could look into.

  • Diane

    In the 1980′s I was treated for acne with daily tetracycline for several years.  What are the long term effects of this type of treatment, and can your system ever recover fully?

    • Commerce20

      Great question for a study! I was thinking the same thing. I’ll bet no one has any idea!

    • Lena

      Very curious about this as well. 

  • Julia

    what about keifer milk?

  • David from Lowell

    Can microbiology be related to the increase in Autism?

  • Tlschraeder

    How the complexity of the micro biome begins to help explain some of the findings of the complexity and diversity of the human genome project but Tom cut her off…can she expand on this? 


    Teresa L. Schraeder, M.D.
    Clinical Assistant Professor
    Warren Alpert School of Medicine
    Brown University
    NEW cell 401-474-1059

    • Doctor D.

      Respectfully, Tom cuts too many people off.  Turns me off of his show on many days… 

  • Robin Fordham

    I am currently on an antibiotic for bronchitis.  What can I do to help restore my good bacteria during and after treatment?  Any information on how fermented foods affect the microbes in our GI system?

  • christopher cooper

    Fascinating stuff

  • Karen

    I’ve been hearing for 30 minutes about how we have a lot of microbes! And we’re doing important research! Yes. How about some specific news we can use? Which microbes do we avoid (in our gums? My dentist is on the warpath) and which are good (is the three second rule ok when kids drop cheerios on the floor? Even on the subway?)

  • Sean

    Is there any coralation between children who’s mothers recieved antibiotics durring birth and. Children with food allergies?

    Sean from Foxboro, ma

    • Kristins09

       Good question!  Allergies?  Crohns? the list of questions and concerns is long…Any answers?

  • christopher cooper

    Tom. Please ask the panelists to comment on work being done to map the genomes of these bacteria.

  • Bwasho

    What about the lack of fermented/live foods in our over processed diet?

    • John C

      I think this is an important question!

    • Drew (GA)

      I also wonder about any negative effects involved with not consuming meats. I’m not advocating for or against a vegetarian diet, just wondering about it’s overall impact.

      • Warren

        Owsley,of orange Owsley fame just died in Cairns.He ate meet exclusively and lived into his 70′s

    • nj_v2

      FYI:

      http://www.npr.org/2012/06/13/154914381/fermentation-when-food-goes-bad-but-stays-good

      ‘Fermentation’: When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.flemming.37 Dan Flemming

    Are there usefull studies of patients that survived chemo and radiation treatment?  To see what this control group and their recovery can tell us about the need and recovery of Microbes later in our lives.

  • Commerce20

    About the possible role of our microbiomes in obesity, this would seem consistent with two peculiar findings: epidemiological studies of obesity show patterns suggestive of contagiousness, and eating yogurt is associated with weight loss. 

  • Seekopeeko

    So interesting.  My story, had cronic hives (autoimmune) for 8 years, went to a 3rd world country, came home with a parasite and no more hives.  No idea it was related.  Then I heard a program on NPR Radio Lab about a guy who cured his allergies intentionally with hook worms.  I’m sure this is what happened to me.  Bugs are important!! 

    • Drew (GA)

      Yes! A fellow Radiolab listener. Any here who have not ever listened to Radiolab should do so the first chance they get. I’d be hard pressed to say whether I like On Point or Radiolab or more. They’re such different programs but are both equally compelling. I really love the Good Show and the Bad Show but they are all incredibly interesting.

      • nj_v2

        Sometimes RL’s quest for quirkiness gets in the way for me, but it is (most of the time) engaging.

  • jfairman

    I am wondering, where is the discussion about MRSA??

    • Kristins09

       Yes, we now know MRSA is everywhere.  What makes people susceptible?  What provides protection?

  • Charles Vigneron

    “Living in a Purel bubble.” 
    Great program!

  • Federico Santi

    Can someone on your panel discuss Phages or Bacteriophage?
    Russia in the 1970′s was researching this way to combat bacterial infections.
    Federico Santi

  • Sheri Edmondson

    Has any of this research been correlated with the brain research regarding autism? Many parents of kids with autism report issues with their children’s digestive systems.

    • Warren

      Don’t have your kids at 40…Have them at 20.Run when you see the Femists coming

      • Warren

        feminists

  • Matt

    Since I was a child, my mother who is a doctor, has always made me eat yogurt after coming off of an antibiotic treatment.  She never explained it, and I never asked.  Does this have anything to do with it?

  • Liz

    My 18 month old son has been on antibiotics about every 2 months for the last year due to recurring ear infections. What can I do to counter this? I began giving him daily probiotics… anything else? Thanks!

    • Sonja

      Hey Liz, my 3 kids used to get these too. Ear infections are tricky, but if the ear drum is red and inflammed, but not oozing then you can try this: I started using garlic oil,  (3-4 drops) inside the ear and lay your son on his side for about 10 min to allow the oil to seep toward the ear drum area. It’s best to this at night before bed. It’s also good to put some cotton from a cotton ball in the ear gently and not too deep to keep the oil in there. After 1-2 regimines of this, my kids never got another ear infection again. Keep up with the Probiotics…….  

    • stacy h

      try chiropractor adjustments!

  • Emily

    How do we get hand sanitizers out of our elementary schools? My son’s first grade classroom opts for liberal use of these sanitizers instead of trips to the bathroom to wash hands. Although I encourage him to wash his hands instead, it’s hard in practice. Are there specific articles I can share with his school to pursuade them to abandon this well-intentioned, yet uninformed practice?

  • BQK

    So should we be drinking raw milk?

    • Warren

      Pateurize it

    • ThePope

       You should not be drinking milk at all, or cheese, or any dairy products.  That is the result of the largest study ever done on the human diet, The China Study.  The protein found in milk products cause cancer and all manner of nastys.  They found it had such an effect that they could turn cancer cells on and off simply by stopping all meat and dairy.

      The conclusion of a recent Harvard study was that every bite of meat you eat shortens your life.

  • Drew (GA)

    We’re getting an extinction every time we take anti-biotics your guest says. BRAVO! We put our immune systems on a couch with a bag of chips and wonder why we’re leveled the first time something truly nasty comes along.

  • John C

    I have a concern for my 18 month old son.  He is on long term bactrim due to a diagnosis of enlarged renal pelves.  He is quite low on his comparative growth chart.  Is this bactrim regimen going to have a long term detrimental effect as compared to the benefit he may receive?

    This is a great article, and it seems to reinforce a previous related study comparing depression in people who do gardening / landscaping work.

  • Laurel

    Does Refrigeration affect the positive bacteria on and in foods?

  • Michael Walter

    Tell us about the REAL diversity of the body.  How about mentioning all those bacteriophages (viral parasites OF bacteria).  Even MORE diverse THAN the ‘bugs’

    • Doctor D.

      Ahhh the universe is so fascinating!!!

  • jill

    I’d be curious to hear what the guests think about fecal transplant as a way to restore a healthy biome in the gut.

  • Kathy

    I thought H.Pilori has been found to prevent the healing of gatric ulcers.

  • Ken

    God made dirt, so let it work!

  • Glenda

     I hope this news causes the medical profession to rethink the high number of cesareans which have negative side effects that are not acknowledged.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      NOT likely!  Surgeons NEED bigger yatchs?

      • Warren

        Who,pretell,in your universe is not greedy.This poor chap even called CLICK and CLACK,The Car Guys,GREEEEEDY.
           Young man it’s Yachts not Yatchs.
        Young man it’s Sikh Indians not Sick Indians
        Young Man it’s Repartee not Reparte(PP of Repartir)Terry thinks he’s speaking French when he says Chevgrolet Coupe(Koooppay)

  • kaltighanna

    That’s such an awesome and interesting topic! Thanks for an enthralling hour of radio!

  • Scott Hughes

    Do changes in the evolution of the microbiome over the years from, for example,  increased C-sections have an impact on increased allergies in our population?

  • Tgmpro

    I think my family has had a healthy dose of ‘old wives’ with a healthy suspicion of doctors. They have been advising for decades NOT to have C-sections unless a life is in danger, not to use hand sanitizers, not to take antibiotics after one has recovered, not to accept the big shots for adolescents, but to break them up, etc. Old Wives Tales may not always be tales.

  • Sharon

    It was common “knowledge” when I was growing up, that your children should play in the dirt to build up immunities against diseases and to be healthy.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      I used on dirt probably that’s why I rarely get sick but after getting flu shot my health changed.

      • Warren

        I spotted that Tagalog.How’s junior?

  • Doctor D.

    This topic is lighting up my brain!!! I am a hospice physician and have been absolutely STRUCK by how many patients I have on our hospice service who are under 50 years old. By far, MOST of the young cancer patients on my hospice service have COLON CANCER. As I write this I have a 34 year old on my service dying of colon cancer and I can list them right off the top of my head the others under 50 years of age who have died from colon cancer. To study a possible link between alterations in our colonic microbiota and the development of colon cancer: WOW

  • Karen

    So the doctor says you can transfer microbes by kissing but the pharma guy says you can’t transfer by just eating probiotics, they won’t colonize? Does that make sense? What makes microbes colonize in the gut?

  • Hshaw01

    I wonder if perhaps a C-section baby could be doused with fluids collected from the mother’s vagina, after birth?

    • Kristins09

       How about baby going skin to skin on mother or father at birth instead of to warmer? 

  • Alexis B G Levitt

    Accepting that the field still has many questions – is there a reliable resource or professional to go to in order to try to find a good combination of probiotics to assist a particular condition?  I have a 4 year old with a cow milk protein intolerance (not allergy – just bellyaches, thank goodness).  Who can I turn to in order to figure out which probiotics might be a good combo to try in order to boost his body’s ability to digest cow milk protein?

    • dyannne

      Stop giving him cow’s milk. It’s only good for baby cows. Almond milk would be better for him.

  • Amlnrse

    (also on FB) Wonderful topic, interestingly just talking with my mother-in-law about this just last couple of days. She has been treated with chemotherapy and antibiotics for recurrent Lymphoma and is in remission now but feels that her natural flora was annihilated by her treatment and responsible for some of her long protracted return to ‘feeling good’. Understanding that nothing can be viewed in isolation we wonder what kind of damage to her natural flora was done and how can it be remedied?  

  • Laurel

    Does the bacteria strains in the gut effect or cause Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorder (EE)? EE causes sensitivity to selected foods and can cause reflux, stomach pain, etc… My son gets headaches when he eats beef and hyperactivity with corn, while  my daughter feels overall illness when she eats turkey.  These sets of symptoms are due to EE. Could proper gut bacteria heal sensitivities to particular food triggers? 

  • Steve

    What responsibility do the MD’s have affecting people genetically one-in-a-million as they research? I often wonder about risk to people’s lives. Basic Training Camp shots almost killed me, but the reaction was very rare. What if changing microbe DNA has accidental results on one of the 7 billion on the planet?

  • Dave T.

    So many people I know say they ask doctors for antibiotics for sore throats and colds. Very often, the doctors ablige them!

    • Doctor D.

      I’ve been there Dave, and when the doctor (me) doesn’t oblige, the patient seeks and seeks until he finds a doctor that will.  Happens all of the time.  Just yesterday I had a grown woman call and ask me for an antibiotic for her pink eye, most certainly a viral condition.  Took 5 minutes to explain why I didn’t feel it was necessary or appropriate, and as soon as I hung up the phone wondered if she picked it up again to ring another physician.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        People Doctor-Shop, like Rush Limbaugh, to get what THEY WANT, instead of what is best for them.  And LOTS of it?

        • Warren

          Over 100 nonpolitical posts except yours

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ???

  • Sonja

    You’ve mentioned some diseases, diabetes, obesity, etc. and how some of our bacteria has gone to the way side. Don’t you think our diets have significantly changed over the last 50+ years? When I see old films of The Civil Rights Movement and the Doc. film of Woodstock, all the people were drastically thinner than they are today and they looked in better health. Over the last many years, the American diet has switched from home cooked fresh foods to more processed foods and fast foods which have virtually no nutritional value. I believe these changes have changed the health of generations in a few short years in comparison to slow evolutionary changes that happen over 1000′s of years. Therefore we now have an epidemic of diabetes, obesity, allergies, high BP, high cholesterol, acid reflux, digestive disorders, etc. many of which were very rare 50+ years ago. I would also like to add that the yeast called Candida, living in our guts, has exploded in numbers over this time period due to the change in our diets to the point where this yeast overpowers other good bacteria. Candida loves sugar and processed foods. Candida causes an inflammatory response in the body that can trigger a number of ailments which can lead to disease. And the interesting thing about Candida, is that they actually will signal the body/brain to crave certain foods that will feed itself (the Candida).  “You are what you eat!” Peace All 

  • Kristins09

    Many, many women are laboring with continuous IV antibiotic because they were found to be GBS+ by vaginal swab at the end of pregnancy. What happens to microbiome of the babies of these mothers as a result?  What alternatives do we have to this widely practiced intervention? 

    • stacy h

      I’m currently working on healing my 2 1/2 yr old’s gut and the only thing I can think of that would have caused this is the IV dose we had in the hospital prior to birth. We ended up thrush, he developed eczema, sensitivity to dairy and gluten. 

  • Mary Craig

    I’ve just learned that my under-functioning thyroid is probably caused by an autoimmune situation. Any pointers?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Probably the prescription drugs you taken that caused the thyroid glance not to function well.

      • nj_v2

        Somehow, i don’t think she was asking Dr. Beat.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    The last time I took a prescription drug was 20 years ago since then not a single prescription medication has entered my body except Tylenol,Aspirin and Melatonin.

    • Dr Trimble3

       You would be better off taking opium than Tylenol.  If you take a total of 1000 pills with acetaminophen, in your lifetime, statistically you chances of dying of renal failure increase 50%.  Most poisonings in the US are from acetaminophen (tylenol) and it is such a dangerous drug that it is added to codeine to prevent people from taking too much to avoid such an overdose. Because the government would prefer that you die instead of get high.  In either event you are kidding yourself and would be much better off using something like marijuanna.

      • Sam Walworth

         Are you really serious?

        Acetaminophen causes renal failure if consumed more than 1000 pills in life time?

        Could you please back your claim?

        • KaMon34

           
          Firstly that is not what he wrote — not even close. Secondly all you have to do is google it to find out it’s true.

        • at

           Took me just a minute to come up with this Sam.  I guess it is actually worse than DrTrimble says.

          New England Journal of Medicine December 22, 1994.
          “People who take analgesic drugs frequently may be at increased risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD).”
          “Heavier acetaminophen use was associated with an increased risk of end-stage renal disease in a dosedependent
          fashion.”
          Those who took 105 – 365 acetaminophen pills per year had a 40% increased risk of end-stage renal
          disease compared to those who took 2 – 104 acetaminophen pills per year. For some, the risk of end-stage
          renal disease was as great as a 140% increased risk.
          For those who took more than 365 acetaminophen pills in a year, the increased risk of end-stage renal
          disease was 110%. For some, the increased risk of end-stage renal disease was as high as 270%.
          For those who took more than 1000 pills containing acetaminophen in their lifetime (compared to those
          who took fewer than 1000 acetaminophen-containing tablets), their increased risk of end-stage renal
          disease was 100%. For some, the increased risk of end-stage renal disease was as high as 220%.
          For those who took more than 5,000 pills containing acetaminophen in their lifetime, their increased risk
          of end-stage renal disease was 140%. For some, the increased risk of end-stage renal disease was as high
          as 380%.
          The increased risk for end-stage renal disease noted in this study was adjusted for race, sex, age, and
          intake of other analgesic drugs.
          The authors noted that 8 – 10 % of the overall incidence of end-stage renal disease is attributable to
          acetaminophen use.
          The authors concluded, “People who often take acetaminophen have an increased risk of end-stage renal
          disease.”

      • Warren

        I’ve taken Opium 1000 times and I’m still standing.I stay away from the Acetaminopen,though.You should be cool if you keep it to under 6 pills per day(not for long durations,howver).You are aware that you can take Aspirin(anti-inflamatory and a wonder drug),or Ibrupropen(?)

        • Warren

          Keep your shirts on,this is an attempt at levity

  • James Tucker

    My wife had a mitral valve repair.  I am told that surgery of that kind includes heavy doses of anti-bacteria drugs which “clear out the gut.  True? 

  • kay

    What about raw milk? If the milk is sterilized does it really do what we need it to and perhaps that explains why the calcium absorption of milk is so poor? If the milk is from a clean, organic source, seems like raw milk has a lot to offer. 

    • LoganEcholls

      Milk is the perfect nutrient rich meal for a baby cow.  The probiotic benefit of it in the human digestive tract is incidental and circumstantial.  For most humans beings (non-Europeans), cow milk is actually an undigestible allergen which the body treats like a foreign invader. 

    • adafai

      Yes, raw milk does have natural probiotics.  4 in my family are “allergic” to milk or so we thought!  However, 5 years ago we found out that they can have all the raw milk they want as there are enzymes in it that help one digest the good stuff! 

      Read “Devil in the Milk” though and insist on A2/A2 milk.  A1 milk is linked with diabetes, autism, heart disease.  Many people cannot drink A1 milk but when switch to A2 do just find.  That is one reason why many do fine with goats milk.  The A1 gene is mostly in Holsteins (90some persent carry it) but it was also passed to Jerseys as they used Holsteins to “improve” the Jersey production along the way.  But they have a lot less of it!!  and many proactive breeders are now breeding to A2 bulls to get rid of it.

      Check out realmilk.com for sources

      You can also use raw milk to make many lacto fermented dishes that have billions of probiotics.  Before refrigeration many of our foods were lactofermented.  Gut health is 80 some percent of the immune system.  Now we know why!!

  • Guest-m

    Could the lack of ancestorial microbes be a cause for epilepsy when there is no apparent cause?

  • CY

    what about H. pylori causes peptic ulcers?
    Also if you don’t complete the entire antibiotic treatment, the possiblility of micro resistant is increase. I agree that physicians are over-prescribed antibiotics. The best way to resolve over-prescribe is making correct diagnosis, only prescribe when is needed.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      I used to have that illness it actually called Duodenum Ulcer (not sure about the spelling) my doctor prescribed
      Prilosec for a month and Zantac treated it. the former gave me irritability and Zantac gave me nothing for side effects.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Flu shots gave me sickness but I have no choice for my employer forced me to get a flu shot.

    is that against my civil liberty?

    • Rubyfoo

       Interesting question, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of this program.

  • DrThimble3

    Not able to listen to this where I live yet, but that won’t keep me from commenting.

    I have been waiting decades for the sciences to catch up.  When will humanity realize that many of their self-destructive behaviors are the result of microbial and viral highjacking of their very organism, and sometimes a restructuring of their brains and nervous systems and sense of what they are and what they really want.

    Many homosexual behaviors are such a virulent vector.  An actual physical restructuring of the quite plastic brain to spread their own DNA via this and other captuous and dirty psycho-sexual stereotypes that become obsessive behaviors.

    I hope that the microbes now flood your restructured nervous and endocrine systems with outrage so you can demonstrate to yourself the degree to with you have been highjacked and defiled.

    For years homosexuals have been claiming a genetic cause for their behavior, yet only fifty percent of identical twins are both homosexual, which disproves that fable right there.  They also choose to claim that a difference in thickness of the corpus collusum demonstrates a genetic difference, yet we know that the brain is such a plastic organ, that any behavioral change causes structual changes, it’s the chicken and the egg.

    Like the ant that climes to the top of a blade of grass and waits to be eaten, for no benefit of it’s own, people are swept up in war hysteria to keep our civilization low enough so that we cannot rid ourselves of the parasites that live off of us.  And yes they are aware, in a sense, more aware than many of you are.

    • LoganEcholls

      I accidently clicked like (instead of reply) on this hateful diatribe.  Can the web designers please implement an unlike button?  Ugh.  What a ####,  I just don’t want anyone to think someone else here honestly agrees with this bigot.

      • RudolfoV

         “I hope that the microbes now flood your restructured nervous and
        endocrine systems with outrage so you can demonstrate to yourself the
        degree to with you have been highjacked and defiled.”

        Come on this is someone who is both baiting you and pointing out your own prejudice at the same time. 

        • GodAlmighty

           Really, all you have to do is substitute microbe for devil.  “The microbes made be gouge my own eyes out.”

          Could be something there. . . .
          Could apply to a lot of different human behaviors that seem inexplicable and self-defeating.

          Just imagine if old Aggamenon had been cursed by the microbes instead of the gods?

          It may be utter lunacy, but it’s a far more benign lunacy than the popular religions and  “he was possessed by demons, or the devil, or is the enemy of God.”

          But people don’t see their own lunacy do they?

          • Agamemnon

             How dare you?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Click the ‘like’ segment a second time, to erase a ‘like’.  Same if you hit ‘reply’ by mistake.

    • Rubyfoo

      That assessment is quite brilliant and total garbage. The only place it makes any sense is in your addled brain.

      • RudalfoV

         “I hope that the microbes now flood your restructured nervous and
        endocrine systems with outrage so you can demonstrate to yourself the
        degree to with you have been highjacked and defiled.”

        Come on this is someone who is both baiting you and pointing out your own prejudice at the same time. 

      • ClemTone333

        I borrowed this link from JGC in another post.  It is well worth reading and may throw What DrThimble3 wrote into a different light for you.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/8873/

    • GlamOregon

       So you decided that shock therapy was the appropriate course on the blog today?  I did find it brilliant Dr. and I appreciate your heavy handed and quite humorous overturning of rocks to see what squiggly things you can disrupt.

    • Warren

      I always thought Homosexuality was the result of Sexual Trauma during ones youth

      • ScottServal444

         That wouldn’t negate the possibility that it was a behavior that was ultimately serving the spread of the genetic material of a particular virus.
        I imagine that any sexual behavior that includes the inevitable transmission of microbes from the bowel would be potentially dangerous.  There is a good and natural reason that your average person is repelled by excrement. Just as it is of survival advantage of the genome for people to find homosexuality repugnant.
          So in nature it is normal and healthy to find homosexuality repugnant, but in civilization were for many reasons reproduction and sexual pleasure can and do diverge to greater or lesser extents, this natural impulse is now cast in other lights.  No wonder there is much cultural dissonance regarding this subject.
        But it is a whole other order of hypothesis to state that a set of behaviors is the result of viral hyjacking.
        It certainly is a fascinating area of study though. I suspect that though the Dr may be a bit far-flung: I believe we would be astonished if we suddenly became aware of the extent to which things are different than we assume in these regards.

      • thixotropic

        Given that homosexual activity and behavior is widespread throughout the entire animal kingdom, sexual trauma clearly does not cause homosexuality. Additionally, many gay people know they’re gay from a very young age; as young as 3.

  • LoganEcholls

    I got sick a few years back with some kind of horrible food borne bug that rearranged my digestive tract.  It took about 3 or 4 years before my system returned to normal.   The doctors diagnosed me with everything from stomach flu, chronic indigestion,  IBS, and GERD/ulcers.  All the treatments only affected the symptoms which returned as soon as I stopped taking the medicine and did nothing for the constant pain an anxiety.  The only thing that eventually helped was focusing on changing my diet and eating habits and reculturing my digestive tract with “healthy” probiotics.  Diet and eating habits are pretty well understood, but there aren’t any guidelines on what constitutes correct use of probiotics of even which ones are supposed to be “good guys”.  I had to experiment on myself and luckily I hit the jackpot fairly early on.  My girlfriend was not so lucky and is now somewhat leary of probiotics.

    Thanks  On Point for doing this show and putting the effect of microbiomes in the spot light.  We need more research into this vital area of human health to understand extactly why and how we should be regulating our food supply to bring us vitality and strength to face the many other challenges we face as a nation.

  • AsMommma

    What does this mean for women that are strep B positive and forced to undertake antibiotic treatment right before birth?

    • BWdoula

      I am certainly no expert, but I think it’s important for women to research and consider when it’s necessary to use antibiotics for GBS and when it might be skipped. If a woman’s water breaks prematurely or early in labor, then certainly the risk of baby becoming infected increases. But avoiding artificial rupture and cervical checks can decrease baby’s risk. 

      I also hope that women realize they cannot be ‘forced’ to do anything. I hope they ask questions and receive all the answers they need to make an informed decision.

  • Marnie Glaser

    1.So, will privatization take over our microbiome—patents, anyone?

    2.  think we owe a little apology to all those clinical ecologists who have talked about the relationship between gut and immunity and emotion for years—and been called quacks.

    3.I’m curious as to whether our dense xenobiotic (in this case, manmade) electromagnetic environment might have a negative impact on our microbiome.

  • Jimbob1k

    Hi I am a retired army nurse and have been sent to SWA many times and had prolonged bouts of diarrhea and other bowel problems.   After that many health problems developled to include weight gain and problems with my bowls.  subsequently I had my colon and gallbladder removed.  the point being could any of these probles be relaed to an imbalance of my normal phora and what can do about it to improve my wellbeing.

     

  • nancy

    I had a “bloom” of H. pylori and the docs attacked it with big guns-strong drugs. Ever since I’ve had stomach digestive problems. So, is recolonization with H. pylori an option?

    • thixotropic

       You need to recolonise, but not necessarily with H. pylori. If you haven’t already, try kefir, it’s good for bacterial recolonisation. There is a water-based form that you can make at home, (kefir grains via keysands.com.) or you can buy the diary version. Good luck!!

  • Pingback: Resources & Search Tips, Moraine Valley Community College Library » Blog Archive » 2-5 lbs of You are Microbes

  • JGC

    Some folks might be interested in a recent article in The Atlantic (March 2012) “Is Your Cat Making You Crazy?”, about Toxoplasmosis and possible relation to schizophrenia and risky behaviors.  One of the lines in it was about “microscopic puppeteers pullings our strings”.  

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/8873/

    • j birch

       It has been known for many years that microbes are very capable of inducing behaviors in the host to enable propagation, from insects to apes.  I suppose we are just as succeptible, but we might be the only ‘rationalizing animal’.

      • CantonLipsky2

         Excellent link.  Now DrThimble has gone from a satirist to a prophet.  Would it not be a mind-blower if many of the sexual-fetishes and deviations that we are now becoming so open-minded about, were merely the manipulation by micro-parasites?

  • http://twitter.com/PatrikD Patrik D’haeseleer

    For those of you asking about any relationships between autism and the gut microbiome, this is something that is being very actively investigated right now.

    Preliminary results indicate that a bacteria called Sutterella is associated with GI problems in autistic versus non-autistic kids. However, it is far from clear whether Sutterella causes autism or the other way around (or whether both are associated with some other factor. Stay tuned…

    https://infectiousbehavior.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/new-microbiome-study-of-autism-gut/

    http://mbio.asm.org/content/3/1/e00261-11

  • KefirGuy

    I’ve had ulcerative colitis for about 5 years after being in “remission” for about 25. During that first bout I tracked it down to an allergy to peas. I went back on meds in 07 but realized something was wrong. I wasn’t suffering a pharmacological deficiency. I kept the UC at bay for about a year drinking homemade kefir twice a day… homemade in the sense I used a commercial product as a starter then added my own milk.
    Two years ago I had to use an antibiotic and despite my attempts to use probiotics I came down with a case of colitis which this time didn’t totally go away. It’s been at a low level and I tried food testing again without any luck. I went back on the meds until I heard the results of the Human Microbiome Project last week… and I off the meds and back on my kefir… and it’s as if someone threw a switch. I know one of the guests claimed such probiotics do NOT survive the GI tract but a quick review of some research papers at NIH call that claim into question.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1489325/

    • j birch

       In case you don’t know, look up ‘elimination diets’.  UC is usuallu an auto-immune response (not necessarily IgE).  The first lets you avoid the triggers (Kefir can gentle your gut flora.), until you can reduce the inflamation caused by your mis-behaving immune system.  I wish you well.

      • KefirGuy

        I’m well aware UC is considered auto-immune and in two cases I tracked it down to specific food allergies… peas, then 3 years ago beer. But I’ve had no luck playing detective over the past 6 months… even going on an all quinoa diet for 3-4 days to see if symptoms disappeared by eliminating everything else. They did but this time I didn’t isolate the offending food so I was resorting to meds again… which in my mind is a failure. I also tried vitamin D, turmeric, ginger, NAC, selenium, and other antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatories with no luck.
        There’s a book I read a few years ago… Bacteria For Breakfast. Often the right flora can modulate the immune response. If either approach works… discovering a food allergy or probiotics, it beats meds…  

        • Dannsmith123

          You might try a bone marrow soup diet for a few weeks. Look one up on line. Add in veg as tolerated.  And get rid of wheat and dairy completely, forever. Quinoa is potentially aggravating too so may be why you did not get good result. 

          • KefirGuy

            I only tried quinoa because it’s something I know I hadn’t had before and therefore I knew I could not have developed a food allergy to it. My UC symptoms did decrease… pointing to the problem being some other food. I just never tracked it down this time.

        • Dannsmith123

          oh and one more thing kefir is dairy so eliminated as well and try Bubbies fermented pickles or sauerkraut. You can get it on line. Same probiotics as kefir minus the irritating dairy. 

          • KefirGuy

            Luckily I have no problems with dairy. But I do want to eat more fermented foods. There were 2 Fresh Air shows on it in the last week or so.

          • thixotropic

             Kefir can also be water-based. I make it at home. Kefir grains available via keysands.com or google it. Good luck!

  • Roy Mac

    Well, I’m sure an onslaught of vaccination-deniers is imminent.  This topic certainly brought out the conspiracy crowd.

    • j birch

       The principles of how the immune system develope are consistent with the use of vaccines.  However, whether synthetic vaccines are the best way to stimulate immune response is more to the point.

      • thixotropic

        Vaccines are a great concept, but the injection route of administration works against the body’s processes for building immunity.

        Vaccines apparently work poorly enough that drug companies feel compelled to add methylmercury and aluminum, both neurotoxins with no safe dose. Unfortunately the free pass on these problems and guaranteed buys from the government and military provide no incentive to develop true immunisation. Bill Gates doesn’t seem interested in doing so either, unfortunately.

  • Agamemnon

    Some live and some die; it’s a simple as that.  Don’t try to figure it out, because it’s not yours to know now.

    • Warren

      I’m with Camus and Satre.There’s no meaning,it was just Chemicals and Random Chance.Now Party On

  • Warren

    I’ve traveled the world my whole life.How many of you have biked in Borneo.It is rare that I get sick,even in Mexico.Actually Paris is the only place I have problems.Friggin Socialists.Now here’s the secret…..Get ye to the gym and learn to laugh.Those who spend their lives in Crisis,who spend life wringing their hands get Cancers,bowel syndromes,and on and on.I take no prescription drugs,I get my vitamins from fruits and vegetables.I eat no salt and use honey as a sweetener(the M.D.s in my family say the science on honey is suspect)Get ye to the gym!!!!I work out 30 minutes,five days a week.
          How long do you guys want to live anyways?The average lifespan in the U.S.is 80(78 males and 82 females).
         Who said “healthy body healthy mind”?No cheating.It was Jubenal,or Juvenal.He was a Satarist in Rome ,around 50A.D..He also came up with “Bread and Circus”.Now everyone throw $5.00 in the kitty.I want to buy that miserable guy TerryTT a new key pad.He keeps capitalizing everything and is in need of a new key borad.This is a prime example of a guy whose unending miseries and pettiness ,will leave him prone to Cancers,heart attacks,etc,.

    • JGC

      You were doing pretty well until you reduced it to a gratuitous blow against one of the other community members. 

      Why not just realize we all have our viewpoints: try to persuade to your side if possible with a certain generosity of spirit, and then let it go, if you can’t?

      Take two Helminths and call me in the morning. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      TOO EASY!!  I’m going to abstain this time.

      • Conner44

        He’s obviously a brilliant guy: he thinks using no salt is good for him.

    • JGC

      Strangely enough, I have not yet biked in Borneo…

  • nj_v2

    Anyone else notice how much smarter the comments are (and with less trolling) when the subject is science rather than politics?

    • j birch

       I agree.  The academic science is easy (sorta’), but practical science (business, laws, politicians) becomes very political & divisive.

    • JGC

      I agree, too. But I still can’t help getting in my licks.

    • Drew (GA)

      Ideologues of the extreme persuasion don’t like science, I think it scares them. They’re generally not big “readers” in my experience either. I really enjoyed reading the discussion on the board today, thanks everyone!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RNZWGDBYX5UAF74XBMFP5MHLME Steve

    Absolutely fascinating program!  Tom Ashbrook, you have outdone yourself, which is really saying something.

    • Nixjasr

       I agree. This is the kind of show I expect, not what they’ve been doing lately with young, uninformed celebrities.

  • Aimee

    I was on a hike several months ago when I passed a mother and young son on the trail. The little boy picking up a rock or stick or some such and said “Mommy, are there germs on this?” “Yes, my love, there are germs on everything,” she began, and I smiled slightly to myself, sensing a wise lesson about to be passed on to the younger generation about how being exposed to germs is how our bodies learn and become immune to diseases. I passed her at the exact moment to hear her continue: “that’s why we have we have Purell!” She did not see my jaw drop and the look of horror I shared with my boyfriend.

  • Isoflavo

    I live in Japan where many people have skin problems, such as Atopic Dermatitis. Could this be caused by over use of anti-biotics?

  • pbr

    Hi Tom

    Wonder if your guests might discuss Helmithic therapy, in vogue now to regulate our own immune system, especially to treat MS and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as arthritic diseases. Can we expect more recognition of this therapy and clinical trials. Keep up the great work.
    pbr

    • JGC

      This is getting very basic, but is there anything more basic than this topic?  Helminths are worms, so I have to suppose that this Helminthic therapy involves worms.  What is the therapy you are suggesting? Are we eating them as alternative protein, or are they ingested alive as a beneficial parasite?

      And has anyone mentioned “fecal transplants” yet?, because we are getting there fast.  And are fecal transplants covered by your health insurance?  I think I need Mitt Romney’s take on this universal health care aspect. I  am pretty certain this was discussed fervently and prayerfully  as they were setting up the Massachusetts health insurance program.

  • Veaves

    Over thirty years ago, in a college science class, I learned that the advance of sanitation gavin rise to the polio epidemic. Children had previously developed immunity to the virus by the age of two or so, but as indoor plumbing became more common, this process disappeared, which was why early in the epidemic, it became known as a disease of wealthier children. Ever since, I have been wary of avoiding all germs. Anecdotally, I has seemed to me that germophobes
    are much more likely to catch anything that they do encounter. Fascinating show!

    • j birch

       There is some evidence that many auto-imune (inflammatory) diseases can be calmed by certain parasites, but the FDA has prohibited most such studies.  Most of the reports of effecacy are anecdotal.

  • Gabe

    Tom-
    Is there any connection between lack of microbes and the deveolpment of autistm spectrum discorders?

    • j birch

       There are at least several forms of ASDs that respond well to adaptive diets.  Sometimes the improvements in behavior occure in hours.  There is again a dis-incentive for the Pharm.Industry to encourage or publish any of the many studies of diet for many diseases.  Time seems to be critical, and after about 7years of age, brain development has been permanently harmed, but plasticity is still possible developmental resource for the child.  Most have motivational topics (ie math, calendar, drawing, etc.) that can be an avenue for improving continued development.
      Good luck

    • ken

      Check out “Gut and Psychology” on amazon by Dr Natasha Campbell McBride. It’s a whole book about gut flora and autism.

  • Jim

    I have a question for Mr Olle.  Why is a venture capitalist involved in this – why shouldn’t this be public domain?  What percentage of the studies and discoveries in this field thus far have been funded with tax $ – through the NSF and other organizations?  Why does the profit motive have to be so involved in the creation of pharmaceuticals that result from publicly funded research?  Perhaps your other guests can also comment.

    • David

      Jim are you suggesting the government should spend the $ Billions more required to turn these very basic discoveries into therapies for patients? Or that someone should do it for free? Who would that be?

      • thixotropic

        I hope you aren’t implying that implying that drug companies do that “for free”. If so you must never take medication! It’s *extremely* expensive, and most insurers only cover the crappiest of the generic forms.

        Allegedly this is because of their terribly high R&D costs. Even when they get the drug for pennies from the NIH, we still have to pay as though they did all the research in house.

        And yet we were all much better off when the NIH did most of the research — the FDA allowing pharma to do their own drug trials without any but the most remote oversight (which is being withdrawn now) has led to unprecedented numbers of people harmed by new drugs and record numbers of drugs being withdrawn from the market because they kill people.

        Pharma doesn’t develop drugs based on human needs, they go for what will make them the most money. Sometimes this overlaps with what people need, but usually it’s Botox or vaccines, which they make by the million as they can never be sued for the damage they do, and they have permanent government contracts for them. What a racket.

        The government doing drug development would cost us far less in human and economic terms than the drug companies do. Let us go back to NIH-funded research, but force the drug companies to pay realistic fees to acquire them. There is no reason they have to make such obscene profits while the nation suffers, it’s absurd.

  • j birch

     Around 1950 I read a book “Dirt Is Good For You”, so I’ve taught this to my patients for 20 years, with auto-immune issues.  Everything is a balance!
    - Modern technology has brutishly forced monocultures in food and “nature” & self.
    I also use my “90%+90%=100%” rule. (cellular count + microbe count = my walking around colony.

  • j birch

     How can you get a politician to vote against the interest of the Pharm.Industry money & lobbyists.

    • thixotropic

       Stop voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’, that’s a start. :P

  • microbe lover

    RE: Daniel’s point.  Antibiotics are part of the microbial signalling mechanism.  When we hit the body with antibiotics in high concentration it disrupts the cell function.  So it is not surprising if some antibiotics encourage growth.

  • JGC

    Topic: Transvaginal ultrasounds, microbiomes and your local Republican representative.

    Discuss. 

  • Mark Jay

    Virtually all of the superstar pharmaceuticals have issues and no surprise antibiotics and vaccines are no exceptions. Koliadin in his paper “Destruction of Resident Microflora as the Main Cause of AIDS” points out that one of the first groups to “contract AIDS” were the fast track gays who thought they could prevent STD’s by regularly using antibiotics. They thought they were harmless. They were taught like all of us they were harmless as the medicos demonized microbes and acute illness. Then when they started to develop skin problems, digestive problems, wasting disease etc etc whats the first things the medicos did to treat it: why of course a major round of broad spectrum antibiotics  and blame it on xyz virus of course.

    Vaccines with foreign DNA and extreme toxins are like a blunt instrument targeted for xyz antigen but besides  poisoning and microstrokes creating antibodies to analogous tissues in the body including healthy gut microbes. Hence all manner of increase in chronic bodily internal malfunction and autoimmune disease, neurological problems, allergies, cancer etc to name a few.

    Claude Bernard – “The terrain is everything, the germ is nothing”

    R.T. Trall – “Disease itself is the remedial process, it’s not something that needs to be “cured” (killed, suppressed, subdued, thwarted), it’s something that should be allowed to complete its purification and repair unhindered.”

    Yours truly,

    Mark Jay

    • jmb

       liked your comment–not because i agree, but because interesting–i want to know more.

  • Dancecat14

    What about tampons. I feel like they wipe out a bunch or important microbes. 

    • JGC

      I was at Penn State in the late 70′/early 80′s when free samples of the Rely tampon were given out to all the incoming female students in the fall term. I think it was just a matter of a few weeks when the Toxic Shock Syndrome crisis hit.  The quad trees, the day after the news, were covered in Rely tampons, swinging in the wind…

    • Joy Bradway

      You may want to look into the DivaCup or other similar menstrual cup.  They are so much better for your body and they don’t introduce chemicals.  I was really grossed out by the thought of them, but when I gave it a try I discovered that I loved it!

  • Pingback: nyusolve

  • Jack

    There was a lot of discussion of helicobacter pylori as beneficial, but I wonder about the treatment of certain kinds of ulcers as getting rid of this bacteria in the stomach?

  • Jcolky

    I listened intently to this show and find the comments here most knowledgable, so maybe someone has a clue about the following. Here’s my story and I know some sort of gut issue is involved. Duodenal ulcer at 28 which resolved itself pretty quickly, then developed facial edema and massive bodily hives the following year. The hives lasted ten months unabated and I went to the hospital twice in anaphalyxis. Was given Prednisone. I have gone years, even decades without hives but the past decade has seen many prolonged bouts. I have overgrowth of H.pylori and, yes, under an allergist’s direction underwent a strong antibiotic regimen to get rid of them and, theoretically, the hives. Didn’t work. I am 62 and now function generally well with OTC Allegra and Zantac twice daily. Otherwise quite healthy. I know this is not a medical helpline but point me in the right direction and I’ll figure it out.

    • steve

      I would try to find someone practicing Howard Loomis’ system of internal health.  They use plant enzymes to improve digestion and elimination.  Proper fats/oils in your diet and properly digested will stabilize your immune system and reduce inflammation.  

      Good luck and good health. 

    • Franteo2003

      Has anyone ever recommended a good HCL supplement with strong enzymes, a candida cleanse/detox along with an alkaline diet?

    • Soulaware

      Check out Donna Gates Body Ecology diet and also the movie documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

  • Pingback: Is Jesus Unclean?

  • http://strangehealth.blogspot.com/ Greysonjames37

    We’ve really gone too far in separating ourselves from nature. We are and always have been part of nature, and we forget this at our own peril.

    I kept referencing this episode to friends and family. So finally I just wrote a blog post about it.

  • Stomachcancer

    H pylori is deemed a carcinogen by the International Association for Research on Cancer and the National Cancer Institute. In 1984, Dr. Barry Marshall, Nobel Laureate, drank a Petrie dish containing H. Pylori to prove to a doubting scientific community that H. Pylori was deleterious to prone individuals. I therefore suggest that Dr. Blazer, Jennifer Ackerman, their family and friends and all NPR staff do the same. Since, there was no mention in your reporting about any carcinogenic effects, I think that this is reasonable.

    • http://strangehealth.blogspot.com/ Greysonjames37

      The whole NPR episode is about the balance of bacteria in the body.

      The fact that Dr Barry Marshall drank a petri dish containing only one type of bacteria and got sick is supportive of the overall point, that being we need the proper **balance** of bacteria in our bodies.

      • Nagiuffrida

        He not only got sick he proved that h. Pylori caused stomach cancer and won a Nobel Prize for it. Do you really think that Dr. Blazer’s idea that we need a balance of bacteria is new??? Many people take probiotics and have for years. If you are so convinced that h. Pylori is beneficial out of the multitudes of bacteria in our bodies, I suggest you ingest it. Let me know how that works out for you.

  • Pingback: Your Inner Ecosystem | On Point with Tom Ashbrook | TimBatchelder.com: Bio, Clean + Social Technologies

  • Pingback: Meet Your Long Time Roommates and Life Savers–Bacteria, Your Inner Ecosystem « Working Well Resources' Blog

  • Pingback: Science 7 Cells, bacteria, our body plan and the digestive system | Dr. Frazier's Middle School Science Blog

  • Pingback: Your Inner Ecosystem | The Symbiotic Age

ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

 
Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

More »
Comment
 
Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

More »
Comment
 
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
1 Comment