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CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD On my way out of Cuba, from La Habana, on COPA airlines flight to Panama, I w...

mercredi 5 septembre 2012


A good friend of mine from Kuala Lumpur sent me two articles from our mutual favourite magazine, The Economist. Both are on us and the Microbes, but not the fear mongering, hand washing get rid of the microbes but the ones in our body who are “paying passengers”
A healthy adult harbours about 100 trillion bacteria in his gut alone, ten times as many as the cells descended from the egg and sperm of his/her parents. In return for the raw materials and shelter provided by human body, these microorganisms are integral part of the health of their bearers, protecting their bodies.
Collectively they are called MICROBIOME and I am sure we would be hearing more about them in the future since our current approach to medical treatment of common chronic conditions are based not on science but on manipulation of nature: drugs, surgical interventions, and other manipulations of the body, against the will of the body.
We eat food, which are not natural to us, how many of us eat the food that our grandparents ate? Lucky You!
Even the same food has changed its colour, its ingredients and the oils they are cooked in, Oh! Poor Oran Utans, we are destroying your habitats so that some Malaysian/Indonesian businessmen and Governments can make a little bit of money making millions of people and not to mention their microbes very sick. Even the traditional foods are being meddled with. Cambodians remember purer forms of rice, now collectively refined. Ghee used by the Indians has changed its flavour but the original ghee has marvellous health benefits. Margarine touted, as an alternative to the Fatty Butter cannot hold a candle to the benefits offered by Butter…
Who suffer silently? Our microbes of course. They are programmed to provide nutrients and turn off when too much is funnelled in. The best example was recently discovered in a nematode, which lived longer than expected because it had inherited or acquired bacteria that did not let it produce Folate. The scientists at Durham University in UK figured out that the mutated bacteria had halted the production of folate at two different levels and that it could be manipulated back to the normal and thus decreased lifespan.
Immediately the increased intake of multivitamins at mega doses came to mind, I have never been a fan of mega dose vitamins. There has been a connection between gut flora becoming aberrant and autism and also some connection to folate metabolism and memory. vow.. Things are falling into place and what an exciting time for Scientific Medicine.
BMC Biol. 2012 Jul 31;10:67.
Excessive folate synthesis limits lifespan in the C. elegans: E. coli aging model.
School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK. david.weinkove@durham.ac.uk.
Gut microbes influence animal health and thus, are potential targets for interventions that slow aging. Live E. coli provides the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans with vital micronutrients, such as folates that cannot be synthesized by animals. However, the microbe also limits C. elegans lifespan. Understanding these interactions may shed light on how intestinal microbes influence mammalian aging.
Serendipitously, we isolated an E. coli mutant that slows C. elegans aging. We identified the disrupted gene to be aroD, which is required to synthesize aromatic compounds in the microbe. Adding back aromatic compounds to the media revealed that the increased C. elegans lifespan was caused by decreased availability of para-aminobenzoic acid, a precursor to folate. Consistent with this result, inhibition of folate synthesis by sulfamethoxazole, a sulfonamide, led to a dose-dependent increase in C. elegans lifespan. As expected, these treatments caused a decrease in bacterial and worm folate levels, as measured by mass spectrometry of intact folates. The folate cycle is essential for cellular biosynthesis. However, bacterial proliferation and C. elegans growth and reproduction were unaffected under the conditions that increased lifespan.
In this animal:microbe system, folates are in excess of that required for biosynthesis. This study suggests that microbial folate synthesis is a pharmacologically accessible target to slow animal aging without detrimental effects.
I have felt that one must eat according to the genes, not because of any scientific evidence but realizing two things: while still a pre medical student in Australia.
1.     The Australian food was not agreeing with me and thus I was not overeating at all, especially the meat but learned to love the immigrant cuisine of Italians and Greeks, which suited me better.
2.     Discovering “Indian” and Malaysian cuisine in London as a student, I noticed that I was very satisfied with them, even though I had no previous experience with them.
I had formulated the theory, to eat according to your origin since there were already 200 million people living in countries outside the one of their birth. An early epidemiological talk I listened to at London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, posited the question: why do Indian immigrants from Punjab and Bengal to the UK acquire chronic diseases at a level higher than the native populations?
When I became a Specialist Physician in Endocrinology, I realized that just a medical education was not going to help the populations I wanted to serve, but would have served me fine but I have never liked the idea of sequestering my medical knowledge and selling it for money. I studied Medical Anthropology, a different gaze and under good guidance of Prof Hellman and Prof Frankenberg
Medical Anthropology is a mode of interpreting and analyzing, to assist social scientists and epidemiologists/medical doctors to focus “the diverted gaze of medicine to the body”, on anthropology to the rituals and symbolism, on Structural violence in societies, especially among those who are marginalized in those societies, to understand oppression and suffering in open or closed societies as a source of violence, and expressed as diseases in the body.

Medical anthropology taught me to question, not accept things at their face value, look at the deep culture and understand the WHY rather than that the WHAT.
If eating right and exercising can do the trick about Obesity, how come it is only increasing all around the world?
When Obese people have Diabetes type 2 and have stomach surgery to by pass the food, how come their diabetes disappears within a matter of days?
Why do cattle fatten up when given antibiotics?
Why do IndoPakistaniBangla migrants die 15 years earlier when they migrate to the USA? Even if their body weight does not increase that much?
Why are the Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia healthier than the others?
If Autism is genetic and Hypothyroidism is auto immune disorders why is that their prevalence has increased in the last twenty years, roughly the same period when obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, high cholesterol has all increased?

Are Multivitamins to blame?
Are the western diets to blame? Are the ingredients in the western diet such as High Fructose Corn Syrup and other chemicals added to preserve them to blame?

Don't meddle with nature. Obey its rules.
When my sister who is of staunch English genetic stock was undergoing cancer chemotherapy, the well-wishers recommended her various teas, herbs, diets including Macro, Micro, Veg, high or low protein or high or low fat, Carbohydrate etc.
Also various vitamins in mega doses.
She listens to me so I told her. Listen sister, a few hundred years ago your ancestors were farmers and peasants and robbers on the highways of rural England, they ate Meat whenever they could get it and the fruits of the earth. So I recommend that you eat that, but make sure that the meat is from Argentina and not USA and that careful selecting the vegies and fruits (look for their origins) and wash them thoroughly with the organic soap specially formulated for such cases (yes there are such things to wash off of the chemicals added to make the vegies shine!). And no Mega vitamins and only the medications recommended by her oncologist, which was poisonous enough.
Let the result speak for itself…grateful to the Spirits for curing my sister of cancer.

So my old slogan:
Eat according to your genes, perhaps not only the genes from our fathers and mothers but also pay kind attention to the 3 trillion paying passengers in our body, the microbiome.

Dedicated to my good friend from Kuala Lumpur.