Crohn’s Disease, a debilitating digestive disease, has been found to be associated with a strain of E. Coli that is unusually good at adhering to the gut walls, and causing inflammation. Not surprisingly, the research will be looking at ways of interrupting the bacteria’s life cycle, in an effort to heal the gut.
So, following other similar discoveries (ulcers and many of the autoimmune diseases), medical researchers have determined that:
- Gut health – that is, the population of a digestive with GOOD bacteria – is critical to a well-functioning body.
- Many diseases are caused by changes in the organisms that co-exist with humans. That is, either the organism has mutated into a harmful version, or the relative populations have shifted away from the healthy ‘bugs’.
- Good health means maintaining a BALANCE in the co-existing organisms.
So, why are so many organisms – harmful to humans – getting a foothold in our populations?
I would be very surprised if the big precursors weren’t
- Artificial sweeteners – Equal, sucralose, Stevia, and all of the other non-nutritive additions to many people’s diets. Many of them are not mentioned, except in the fine print at the grocery store. Restaurants don’t even list them on the menu. They are added to many other products – chewing gum, cough syrup, and candies, for example.
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup. By adding so much readily-available food to the micro-organisms diet, the bacteria explode into reproduction. Fighting other organisms for survival, it would be a short step to carving out a niche to improve survival odds – such as sticking more easily to the gut, and therefore surviving longer, to increase offspring.
- Other drugs that alter the digestive system – any TV ad for the next miracle drug is filled with warnings about the side effects – which can includes digestive problems (and, usually, death – I always love that one – “Get your mild symptoms completely cured! Only a very few of you will DIE!”). I’m not trying to diss those who have a serious disease or condition – sometimes, meds ARE the answer. But, long-term use of medications almost always involves a trade-off – sometimes side effects, sometimes creating another problem that has to be treated with medications. If the initial disease is painful enough, or life-threatening, then the trade-off may be worth it. Just keep in mind, TANSTAAFL.