Somewhere along the primordial way, a bunch of micro-organisms became enclosed by, fewer in number, but larger "tissue" cells and the evolutionary race was on. This co-operative, bi-partisan effort allowed both types of cells to emerge from the primordial goo and the foundation for the human race was set. Through time, dinosaurs, and an ice age or two, this Human/Bacterial (HumBac) hybrid was able to go a lot farther than either party could have gone on their own.
Today's hybrid, you and I, are now more bacterial than human. It's estimated that there are approximately 10 trillion human cells wrapped around a digestive system containing 100 trillion cells composed of bacteria, virus, fungi, mold, parasites, and others who have come along for the ride. Of course the human cells have evolved to send emails, text, watch TV, and many other "human" things. The bacterial guys, well they've evolved into a cohesive force that involves themselves in the more mundane issues of life and death.
Dr. Bernard Jensen once said that, "Death begins in the colon." If that's true, then life begins in the small intestine, or maybe even the stomach. The foods that we eat bring with them, the nutrients that we need to survive and function on a daily basis. They also bring with them, other organisms who ride along on their meal tickets trying to crash the party. It's up to the 100 trillion cells living in our guts to weed out the bad guys, and process the nutrients in the foods for us to function normally.
The digestive tract is an intricate ballet of organisms, pH, enzymes, nutrients, peptides, and hormones in a dance with its human interface of cells, nerves, blood, lymph, and other fluids. Centuries of evolution have created a delicate synergism that we tend to take for granted. The Ecosystem of the digestive tract is a harmonious balance of craziness. Disturb this balance, and one fruitcake can terrorize the entire HumBac world, causing it to live in fear for its life.
A good example of how this happens is when we take antibiotics. "Anti" means against, and "biotic" means life. For those paying attention, this should be a big clue. Today's powerful antibiotics have been likened to a terrorist opening fire in a crowded market. The good and the bad both perish. The killing is indiscriminate. In the intestinal world of bacteria et al, this creates chaos, and in the midst of the chaos, a lunatic can take control. The one "lunatic" that commonly follows this scenario is fungal candida. In its normal form in a balanced digestive system, it is a yeast that contributes to the overall health of the system. In its Dr. Jekyll-to-Mr. Hyde transformation, it becomes an invasive fungal organism which continues to destroy bacteria and cross over into the human cells creating havoc and chaos. This seems only fitting, in a way, since a fungal toxin was the first antibiotic and many antibiotics are potentized derivatives of fungal toxins.
Antibiotics have been justly credited for saving lives, but they have also taken lives. Many people die each year from reactions to antibiotics. Well over 140,000 people report to hospitals each year from adverse reactions to antibiotics. Some people experience permanent disability. Everyone who has taken antibiotics will have altered the delicate balance of the digestive tract and the role it plays in our health for years to come.
When antibiotics were first used, it was a common practice to be prescribed probiotics ("pro" meaning for) to be taken along with the antibiotics. This wise practice fell along the way for some reason. It needs to be reinstated. Probiotics can help to minimize some of the negative effects of antibiotics. Protecting our natural resources is something that is important to all of us.
A digestive tract that is in a state of imbalance can lead to digestive diseases; inflammation throughout the body; depression; arthritis; hormonal imbalances; headaches; skin conditions; rapid aging; fatigue; brain fog; and a host of other problems that involves every human cell, tissue, and organ. For those who have taken antibiotics, this imbalance needs to be reversed.
We need to pay more attention to the 100 trillion fellow passengers that accompany us on our journey through life. We need to be mindful of what goes into the body via liquids, foods, and the air we breathe. Our fellow passengers require nutrient-dense foods and periodic detoxification to assist them with the vital roles they play for us.
John Knowles, the former President of the Rockefeller Foundation put it well when he said, "The next major advance in the health of the American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself."
So whether we're God's hybrid or Darwin's HumBac, we need to exhibit a conscious mastery of managing this intricate interrelationship of life, or its back to the goo, or worse, to the doctor.
Dr. McCombs can be reached at email@example.com.
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