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Thread: Evolutionary medicine page

  1. #1
    texas.grok's Avatar
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    Evolutionary medicine

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    Interesting article from Medical News Today about evolutionary medicine:

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/177265.php

    From the article:

    Evolutionary thinking can also yield surprising medical therapies, the authors explain. Throughout much of our history, for example, humans coexisted with beneficial bacteria and intestinal worms. Reduced exposure to these bugs due to improved hygiene leaves many with immune systems that don't respond appropriately, scientists say. Research suggests we may be able to reduce our susceptibility to allergies, asthma, and many auto-immune diseases - from inflammatory bowel disease to multiple sclerosis - by giving patients "cocktails" of parasite eggs. "There are now 4000 people in a clinical trial to test the efficacy of worm eggs," said Stearns.
    This fits in with the hygiene hypothesis, basically we have become too clean and our bodies have lost a large degree of our capability to fight off diseases. This appears to be because of our being too "clean" but also, IMHO, through the overuse of antibiotics which, I think can cause our natural immunity systems to become weak and go into neutral. Overuse of antibiotics may cause long term effects to our immunity systems. My theory is that because our immunity systems have became weak, this could be one of the reasons behind the rise in cancers. Our bodies have this amazing ability to heal itself but when we have lousy diets, no exercise and pump chemicals into us (as medications, food additives, etc), we inhibit our bodies from healing itself.

    Speaking for myself, I shun medicine, over the counter (OTC) or prescription. When I have a fever, diarrhea, etc, (which I rarely get), I let is run its course since I think it is my body fighting off what is making it sick. Usually my body shuts down with me sleeping as much as 20 hours and sometime during that time my fever breaks (likely the problem has been cured) and I'll be fine, just a bit dehydrated and weak which goes away pretty quick with fluids and good food.

    My hope is that the studies in evolutionary medicine will someday catch on with the PB lifestyle. But likely big medicine, big pharmaceutical and big industrial food companies won't let that happen. Bad for business.
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    Texas.grok, good post up! This touches on Pasteur vs Bechamp and germ vs terrain theory:

    http://thehealthadvantage.com/biologicalterrain.html

    But yah, the body has systems in place, fever etc as you mentioned to kill/remove bad stuff. It is best to have a sharp and proper functioning immune system, than to dose medications all the time. I think most all of us would be in agreement. I have a buddy right now fighting off West Nile Virus, but he hasn't eliminated sugars, grains, alcohol and veggie oils from his diet (lives on those 4 food items, as a matter of fact)! So how good a chance has his body of protecting itself!? NONE!

    Oh, and here is a great blog on Evolutionary Medicine:

    http://nephropal.blogspot.com/ and check out their sister site on EvMed as well. It's a grassroots ground swell from the ranks of Primal/Paleo holistic living! MDA is a big part of that.

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    I shun medicine as much as possible too. My husband thinks I'm odd. When I get sick I won't move from the bed (unless it's to use the bathroom) until I'm better. Usually takes 24hrs and then I'm good.

    My husband takes meds for everything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victoria View Post
    I shun medicine as much as possible too. My husband thinks I'm odd. When I get sick I won't move from the bed (unless it's to use the bathroom) until I'm better. Usually takes 24hrs and then I'm good.

    My husband takes meds for everything.
    Same here Victoria, my wife runs to the doctor every time she sneezes and she is sick and on antibiotics several times during the year. Seems to be a cycle, the more you go to the doctor, the more you need to. She thinks I'm nuts for doing the whole BP and barefoot thing but come to think of it, she was convinced of my insanity long before that.
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    I like to think of myself as mildly eccentric ...! My husband would agree.
    "For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks." - Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

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    I don't doubt that maintaining the right "terrain" in terms of our body can help control infection.

    But Primal living is not even close to being immune to life-threatening infectious disease. Consider the American Indians, Native Americans. While some were involved in agriculture, others were exclusively hunter-gatherers. Surely in many cases they had an almost ideal diet from the Paleo or Primal standpoint. Lots of wild grassfed meat. A variety of gathered wild plant foods.

    In many cases, almost to the last man and woman, they were wiped out by infectious diseases that had evolved in other parts of the world. Their Primal living did not keep them from dying in droves from the infectious diseases.

    We've come to the realization that we're evolved and evolving, and that awareness of those facts can lead to advances in medical understanding and approaches. But microbes are evolved, and more importantly for us, evolving. And they can "out evolve" us and take us down. E. Coli O157 is an example of very recent evolution. So we don't want to cozy up to them too much, bad hygiene etc., especially certain of them. It will be a long time, for example, before the "terrain" of a zebra evolves sufficiently so that a lion is not going to kill and eat it given the opportunity.

    Evolutionary biologist Paul W. Ewald wrote about this in "Plague Time: The New Germ Theory of Disease."

    "WE ARE THEIR FOOD. Those germs of the past that best converted our bodies into their own propagation are the germs of the present. Those germs of the present that best convert our bodies into their own propagation will be the germs of the future. Why should be care about the prospects of one particular germ over another? Aren't they all just plain bad? The simple answer is no. We can never get rid of them all. Their future is our future. If their future goes one way, we will be relatively healthy; if it goes another, we will be sick or even dead. So the question is, how will they survive? Or rather, how will they evolve?"
    Last edited by Paleo Man; 07-23-2010 at 07:40 AM.

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    Paleo Man: When the Spanish explorers first checked the land soon after Columbus, there were Villages and Towns all within a day's march of each other. This was recorded in their logs and journals. Most of the population lived by agriculture because the land was so heavily populated and hunted. It became a nearly empty wilderness later when most of the indigenous peoples died off from diseases that have been attributed in large part--at least from Florida to Colorado, and up a good bit of the Mississippi--to diseases in swine that escaped the herds that the Spanish brought with them--(because there was little to hunt). With a return of habitat and a gross reduction of hunters animals began to grow into those great herds the stories tell us about.

    New England also was not a wilderness when those pilgrims first came. There was relatively little room for new towns because of all of the towns and villages already here. Diseases for which they had no immunity also decimated, or worse, those peoples too.

    There is quite a lot of changed thinking about what America was like before Columbus.

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    Re: dosing people with parasites. Anti-biotics have weakened humans and strengthened parasites. Now that the field is "leveled" , lets feed parasites to humans, probably best to do this especially with humans in third world countries. Maybe we could 'cure' everyone in Afghanistan, Palistine, Iraq, Iran, Korea, ----any other places for whom we could do a favor?

    When I see the oppressors and the elite of the world trying the parasite seeding cure, I will believe that they mean business. When the doctors eschew this cure for themselves and their families, but pass it on to others, I will not consider them to be sincere.

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    Considering evolutionary biologist Paul Ewald's statement about germs, "We are their food." And how and when we want to expose ourselves to them in order to build immunity. And what sort of man-made defenses we might want to use.

    Might help to think of a really big germ. Really big. An African lion.

    We have certain natural defenses that might help keep us from being eaten by an African lion if we are strolling through lion territory in Africa. And no doubt these defenses can be heightened, strengthened, and fine tuned. But there are times when a man-made defense, say a .375 H&H Magnum rifle, trumps anything with which nature provided us. And sometimes lacking the .375, we're best staying out of territory where lions roam.

    Some conventional medical treatments are the equivalent of the .375 rifle and go to the root of the problem. If not natural, they are inarguably effective. You take an antihelmintic drug and it neatly kills a big tapeworm without much collateral damage.

    The problem is that a lot of conventional medical treatments, and conventional medicine, focus on relief from symptoms rather than understanding and removing root causes.

    Using the lion analogy, what much of conventional medicine does is like this. A lion approaches you and begins roaring loudly. The roaring is bothersome and hurts your ears. You are given a prescription for a pair of earplugs and you insert them. Bingo. Works great. You can't hear the lion roaring anymore. Problem solved. Next patient, please!

    But doctors can't be blamed too much. It is what most patients want, indeed, what they demand. A quick superficial fix with as little effort, intellectual involvement and self discipline as possible. "Someone fix me quick and easy!" Primal folks are different and it will be interesting to see where all this goes in terms of chronic medical problem issues.
    Last edited by Paleo Man; 07-24-2010 at 07:58 AM.

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    I disagree that patients want the treatment that the allopaths offer. Since the formation of the AMA around 1850, they worked to corner the 'medical' market. They refused membership to anyone who would refer someone to a non-member practitioner--a chiropractor or herbalist, for example. They got politicians in their pocket and had laws passed outlawing any other medical practice. Now, health insurance does not pay for anything but MDs and some DOs.

    People would enjoy trying acupuncture from a good practitioner but that is illegal. Someone who learned TCM and became certified after years of study can't do the procedures here. Yet an MD with a three month speed course sponsored by the AMA is allowed to do it. That is just an example.

    People want cures, but allopathic medicine doesn't seek cures. Most MDs seem to seek repeat patients, not a community of healthy people. Some years back a physician that I visited told me in his office that he didn't want to hear all my problems. He told me that I had ten minutes of his time and then he had to move on to the next victim, I mean patient. He claimed that he couldn't make money any other way. Last time I was in his office. I would like to see us take on the system followed in China some years back. The people pay a regular payment to the physician while they are healthy. When they are sick, the physician receives no money. That is incentive to cure and not treat.

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