Meadow with flowers, tree, and sun.A lack of general knowledge of the subjects of health and the human body leads to misconceptions, and opens the door to accepting false information.  For instance, many people believe that disease and illness are brought about by some mysterious unknown (or unavoidable) cause, and that it is just a matter of “luck” – or, bad luck.  Luck may be a factor, but it certainly isn’t the overriding factor.

Next in line is the virus or bacteria theory: “everyone knows” that disease and illness are caused by bacteria and viruses. But this is not entirely true. While they certainly have their role in disease or illness.  They are not, by themselves, the “cause of disease.”  

I know. This goes flies right into the teeth of the mainstream concept of health.  But note carefully that I am not saying they don’t play a role in bad health.  I am stating that they are not  the sole causes.  And, by the way, we are not making some wild new statement over here, or speaking strictly from the viewpoint of natural or integrative health. We are taking this information directly from clinical studies done by one of the great pioneers of modern medicine, Dr. Hanse Seyle, who, in his time, was Professor and Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal, and was author of over 32 books and over 1500 technical articles on modern medicine.

Now, many will probably want to argue the germ theory: “that all diseases are caused by bacteria or viruses.”  And everyone is entitled to is point of view.  But let me lay out some solid arguments and examples which demonstrate that there is much more at play than just the germ theory.

  1. Everyone carries germs within their body.  But not everyone is affected by them.  When the flu is going around, just about everyone gets exposed to those germs, but not everyone gets the flu.  Since not everyone gets the flu, it is quite apparent that germs can not be the only factor.
  2. E. coli bacteria: the media loves to publish stories about E. coli infections.  Well I have news for you, everybody has E. coli in their body; it’s part of your digestive and immune system.  Without E. coli bacteria you would probably die.  Yet it sometimes gets out of control and becomes a disease.
  3. The entire theory of vaccination would fall to pieces if bacteria and viruses were the only causes of disease and illness.  Vaccinations do not get rid of bacteria, nor do they prevent future invasions of bacteria in your body.  Vaccines are meant to make you immune, meaning that your body will successfully fight the germs or viruses.  The whole theory of vaccinations is only that they train your body to recognize harmful germs and to be prepared to deal with them when they invade.

A list of examples of bacteria and viruses which can cause a disease, but are also beneficial (or are usually harmless) could fill a book by itself.  So let’s make a more accurate statement here:

Bacteria and viruses that are out of control, even normally beneficial ones, are a cause of disease and illness.

This would probably be the most accurate statement you could make in regards to the germ theory: “Out-of-control germs, whether they are good or bad, are what cause disease.”

This is not a radical view, or a fact believed by only a few fringe scientists. The most mainstream of scientists know this to be true.  Louis Pasteur, considered one of the three founders of bacteriology, who first made the germ theory widely known, later adjusted his view on germs to the above concept.  But for some reason, only his early “discoveries” remain popular, and his later adjustment of these discoveries based on continuing research didn’t make it into the textbooks.

So, if we take this adjusted statement of germ theory, and apply it to disease, it becomes obvious that there are other factors we need to look at in order to explain or tackle disease and health.  The theory of eradicating all germs to get rid of disease does not work to make you healthy, and doing so would kill you on the spot. You actually need most of the germs in your body, in order to stay alive, and you can not live without them.

To get closer to good health and at the resolution of disease and illness, you must ask and answer the following questions:

  1. What mechanism does your body use to keep germs and viruses under control?
  2. How do they get out of control?
  3. What do you need to do to get them back under control?

If you know the answer to the first question, you now have a starting point in terms of what needs to be fixed in order to get well.

Now, this can all get very complicated and intricate.  Your body consists of so many basic parts, that entirely separate medical professions deal with different parts of the body. We are sticking with fundamental core systems here, which underlie all of these parts.

The most basic answer is of course the immune system.  But that is such an abstract concept, it is like answering the question, “where do you live”,  with “in a house.  Thank you, Captain Obvious … Everyone knows they have an immune system.  Virtually no one knows what it is.

The immune system is a combination of many parts that work together: your glands, your stomach (digestive system), your nervous system, your organs, and parts of your brain.  Even the bones in your body are part of it.  Yes, bones are not just good for walking or posture.  Bones manufacture blood.

But all of these systems have one thing in common: each and every one of them requires the basic resources to function and operate properly.  If they do not have the needed ingredients to operate, they break down.  They all work together to produce good health, and each of them requires a specific set of ingredients to function, or to function well.  If they run out of a certain ingredient, they stop performing their function.  When they stop performing their function, germs (good or bad) go out of control, and you get illness or disease.

The ingredients these different systems need are called, as a whole, “nutrition.”

So here we have another one of the foundations of health: nutrition.

And, while everyone has heard of nutrition, and most people “know about nutrition”.

The truth is, very few people really do know even the basics of nutrition.  General nutrition knowledge is about as advanced as “make sure you eat some veggies every day,” “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” or “be sure to get your proteins….”

Nothing wrong with these statements – but it’s like trying to pass an engineering exam by walking in, stating that a house needs walls and doors, and expecting to pass.

I dare say that if you ask the question, “What is the most important nutrient?” most people will get it wrong.  How do you even establish what the most important nutrient is? The answer to that question is both simple and brutal:

How long can you survive with the total lack of a particular nutrient? Or, “What is the length of time it takes before your body dies due to a lack of a particular nutrient?”

The answer to that question establishes the order of importance of nutrients.  It does not say you can do without the “less important” nutrients.  All we are implying here is that health fades quickly or slowly, depending on the importance of the nutrient that is deficient in your diet.

Another part of nutrition would consist of what not to put in your body.  This is the subject of toxins and poisons.  Here, the question is the reverse: how much time does it take before a body dies if it ingests a particular poison. Or, how much of a toxin or poison can a person ingest before the body dies?

To recap the important fundamentals quickly:

  1. Germs out of control are a cause of disease
  2. The immune system serves to control germs
  3. The immune system needs proper ingredients to do its job
  4. Some ingredients support the immune system
  5. Some ingredients inhibit the immune system

By putting these in correct sequence, one can establish the most important factors of good health. When you look at it that way, the most basic foundation of good health becomes as follows:

  1. Correct nutrition enables the immune system and the body to function properly
  2. Lack of nutrition weakens the body’s defense systems against illness or disease
  3. Toxins and poisons, are ingredients that impair or prevent the immune system and the body from functioning properly.
  4. A breakdown of immune system and body functions allow germs, bacteria, and viruses to go out of control and to produce disease.

This is the most basic breakdown of the progression of disease and illness.  Each of these sections could be explored and explained in great detail.  Each could have books written on them. But that is the field of doctors and practitioners.  Right now, we are just trying to get the concept of how good health is lost, and how to reverse it.

– This has been a guest post by William Tucker, Vice President of D&Y Laboratories.  To be notified of future posts on this blog, please subscribe using the form below.