A Professor in medical research at Sydney University, believes the number of bacteria and other organisms in the gut may hold the key to unlocking most so-called Western diseases.
Scientists are only just beginning to understand the secrets of how these organisms can affect our health not only negatively but also positively, preventing or treating obesity, asthma, autism or schizophrenia.
Professor Mackay of Sydney University states “When you look at almost any condition that exists now that didn’t exist 40 or 50 years ago, or was much less common 40 or 50 years ago, there is a good chance that it is relating to the actions of gut microbiota. I would include in the list food allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity and possibly autism. Some cancers, including colon cancer, may also be impacted by people’s intestinal flora and such conditions as inflammatory bowel disease.”
Although bacteria can have a negative effect on our body, such as E.coli can cause food poisoning, research is showing that bacteria levels can be manipulated to make people healthier. Research was carried out at Queensland Univerisity where patients with kidney disease were given high amounts of pro-biotics, good bacteria, and healthy food for the bacteria to live in, which has had beneficial results for the patients. There were no side-effects and no negative effects on their quality of life.
This is really interesting research as, in our clinics, one of the problems we now most frequently treat is the parasites, Blastocystis Hominis and Dientamoeba Fragilis. These are rarely tested for or recognised problems in the UK and throughout Europe that cause most unpleasant symptoms. Patients suffer for many years before finding out why they are so unwell. At the moment, the most effective treatment is a triple or quadruple course of antibiotics. It would be really wonderful if we could manipulate the bacteria to make people healthier! See our website page on Blastocystis Hominis & Dientamoeba Fragilis.
Professor Mackay believes “the new approaches to human diseases are exciting and could change medical practice”.