Friday, June 17, 2011

The End of Antibiotics?

"How Superbugs Will Affect Our Health Care Costs":

"Oh, it gets even more depressing. You haven't even mentioned tuberculosis; the susceptible bacteria is hard enough to treat (6 months of three or four antibiotics). Now imagine multidrug resistant (MDR) or extensively drug resistant (XDR) bacteria. There are now even strains that are resistant against every anti-tuberculous antibiotic out there."

Weston Price noted that the folks who lived on a traditional Swiss mountain-valley diet did not seem to get tuberculosis, and also did not get tooth decay.  He noted that the two conditions seemed to be associated, and the logical conclusion to draw from his research is that the nutrient-dense diet he developed to protect against tooth decay would also aid the body's immune system in fighting off infection.

I'll note that the Swiss diet that appeared to convey immunity to tuberculosis was as un-paleo as it's possible to get: raw dairy and rye bread.

But it was sufficient to nourish the Swiss mountain villages, and protect them.  Note also the importance of "heliotherapy" in treating tuberculosis.  That means letting people sit out in the sun and make vitamin D.

"When I asked a government official what the principal diseases of the community were, he said that the most serious and most universal was dental caries, and the next most important, tuberculosis; and that both were largely modern diseases in that country.

"When I visited the famous advocate of heliotherapy, Dr. Rollier, in his clinic in Leysin, Switzerland, I wondered at the remarkable results he was obtaining with heliotherapy in nonpulmonary tuberculosis. I asked him how many patients he had under his general supervision and he said about thirty-five hundred. I then asked him how many of them come from the isolated Alpine valleys and he said that there was not one; but that they were practically all from the Swiss plains, with some from other countries.

"I inquired of several clinicians in Switzerland what their observations were with regard to the association of dental caries and tuberculosis among the people of Switzerland. I noted that the reports indicated that the two diseases were generally associated. We will find a corollary to this in many studies in other parts of the world.

"These studies in Switzerland, as briefly presented here, seem to demonstrate that the isolated groups dependent on locally produced natural foods have nearly complete natural immunity to dental caries, and that the substitution of modern dietaries for these primitive natural foods destroys this immunity whether in ideally located elevated districts like St. Moritz or in the beautiful and fertile plains of lower Switzerland. The question seems to answer itself in a general way, without much laboratory data, from the results of a critical examination of the foods. The laboratory analyses, however, identify the particular factors in the foods which are primarily responsible by their presence for establishing immunity, and by their absence in inducing susceptibility to dental caries. These chemical data are discussed in Chapter 15.

"High immunity to dental caries, freedom from deformity of the dental arches and face, and sturdy physiques with high immunity to disease were all found associated with physical isolation, and with forced limitation in selection of foods. This resulted in a very liberal use of dairy products and whole-rye bread, in connection with plant foods, and with meat served about once a week.

"The individuals in the modernized districts were found to have widespread tooth decay. Many had facial and dental arch deformities and much susceptibility to diseases. These conditions were associated with the use of refined cereal flours, a high intake of sweets, canned goods, sweetened fruits, chocolate; and a greatly reduced use of dairy products."