* L-form Bacteria and Mollicutes- The Good,
the "Bad" and the Ugly- I know, many who read this title are going "What in the world? This is going
to be waaay too technical for me and I don't really need to understand something so involved." Well, that may be true for
those who get the old deer-in-the-headlights look when they hear or read something medical, like I do when I talk with an
attorney or insurance salesman. But if you liked the part about viruses, then you're really going to like this part, too.
These are all part of the grand orchestra that is our- and our pet's- body.
*Email to Amy of Bacteriality.com- Below is a letter that I submitted to the author of a great article on L-form bacteria
on a very interesting Website, www.bacteriality.com. This is the home of the controversial but apparently effective Marshall Protocol,
an approach to the treatment of chronic illness that focuses on the role of L-form bacteria. A
very good article on L-form bacteria, authored by Amy Proal, can be found
here: Understanding L-form Bacteria. It is as good of an explanation of these little guys as I have read. But,
as my readers might imagine, I have a slightly different slant on the subject, thus the response.
* Viruses Are Not Alone-The Latest Cancer Research- (Link only) This area is going to be a work in progress. The reader will see why when they get there.
I have stated for the last 10 years that researchers have known for years that viruses cause cancer. Many have stated that
viruses are the only cause of cancer, with "carcinogens" triggering viruses into causing cancer. Now we know that viruses
are not the only microorganisms involved in the process. But do intracellular bacteria cause cancer by themselves
or do they serve another purpose in this process? The section starts with a letter to my colleagues discussing this fascinating
and paradigm-shifting information.
L-form Bacteria and
Mollicutes- The Good, the "Bad" and the Ugly
By Dogtor J
science behind this particular group of bacteria is an incredibly fascinating aspect of medicine
and one that is just now coming into its own. Over man's medical history, we
went from simply observing fungi and molds growing on things to deciding that
there must be "germs" inside our bodies causing disease. Much later, we observed
these tiny entities under a new piece of equipment known as the microscope. We
then hypothesized that there had to be something even smaller than bacteria
causing disease, later proving the existence of the virus. We knew they
were there, due to the absence of a bacterial entity, but were not able to
actually see them until the invention of the electron microscope.
have now repeated history with the discovery of
the pleomorphic bacteria- a cell wall deficient bacterium that can crawl inside
the cell in true viral fashion. In doing so, we've taken a step backwards- or at
least sideways- in the "evolution" of medicine as we've finally come to grips
with the importance of this dynamic group of bacteria also known as L-
forms and mollicutes. L-form bacteria are those that "shed their
skin" (lose their cell wall) and crawl into cells, particularly those of the
immune system (white blood cells). Mollicutes are tiny bacteria that can
actually get inside cells, exchange their DNA with that of the host cell,
particularly with that of the mitochondria (powerhouses) of the cell.
who have read the Viruses-
Friend or Foe
section know that, for
the longest time, I thought that viruses had no redeeming qualities. This lack
of wisdom led me to demonize these infectious agents in the same way that most
lay people and my professional colleagues were doing. Viruses caused disease and
that was the end of the story. I know now that this is not the case and
that these often-maligned entities are the very thing that are keeping us alive
and well at any given moment.
the same thing be said about bacteria? In the
days of E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks and the ever-present threat of MSRA’s
(antibiotic-resistant, flesh eating bacteria), could anyone guess that bacteria
play an equally important role in the maintenance of our health?
fact is that our body is host to millions and
millions of bacteria, most of which never cause disease while others do so only
when we have done something to force them into doing harm. Sound
familiar? Yes, many bacteria have the same behavior when it comes to disease as
our recently identified allies, the viruses. There is no place in our body that
has more bacteria than our intestinal tract. And yet, the healthy pet or person
shows no sign that these guys are present, with the exception that their stool
has a less-than-floral odor to it. However, put something into the stomach that
doesn’t belong there and we can quickly be made aware of the multitudes of
bacteria that reside in that normally dormant environment.
the dog, we see a condition known as
hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) in which the pet suddenly develops
violent diarrhea with what appears to be a large amount of blood. The deep red
color is actually derived from a large amount of blood-tinged serum in the
feces, resulting from an acute inflammation of the intestinal tract. It is
believed that this damage to the gut’s lining is caused by the release of a
toxin by a certain bacteria, Clostridium perfringens, which is a close relative
of the bacterium that causes tetanus. Both of these bacteria are known for their
powerful endotoxins, with that of Clostridium tetani causing the classic symptom
yet, we find that both organisms can be normal
inhabitants of the dog’s body, with the tetanus bacterium living in the mouth of
unaffected dogs, sometimes being transmitted to a human through a deep bite
wound. Thus, it is routine to administer tetanus shots to those are dog-bitten.
Unusual cases of tetanus in the dog have occurred, one of which I saw at my
clinic a number of years ago. It was a four month old puppy that had contracted
the illness through an abscessed baby tooth, something that has been reported a
number of times in the veterinary literature. The combination of the damaged
tooth and the immaturity of the patient were apparently the main factors that
allowed this resident bacteria to gain a foothold in the unfortunate individual.
But at that time, I questioned what other circumstances may have contributed to
this once-in-a-career case. I had seen fractured baby teeth many times before
but never before observed a case of auto-inoculation with tetanus bacteria.
There had to be another explanation, perhaps a failed immune system or a
mysterious cofactor that had previously eluded us.
similar phenomenon occurs in cases of HGE. The
Clostridium perfringens organism lies dormant in the intestinal tract for years
and suddenly overgrows and releases its toxin. This is a very common and
frequently recurrent condition in the dog. However, it was not until I was
finally awakened to the importance of food intolerance that I began to
see distinct patterns in my patients that would point to the true nature of this
frightening and potentially life-threatening illness.
I so commonly say to my clients “Whodathunk that
the wrong food might actually cause chronic diarrhea?” We as veterinarians are
quick to ask whether Fido got into anything weird when Mrs. Jones calls in a
panic about her pet’s sudden bout of diarrhea. But oddly enough, the pet's basic
diet is one of the last things veterinarians fully investigate when this becomes
a recurrent or persistent issue. I guess most doctors assume that the pet food
industry knows exactly what they are doing when it comes to producing a safe and
nutritious product. Some will place the pet on a prescription intestinal diet
but when that doesn’t work, the client is either referred to a specialist or the
pet...and owner...are doomed to long-term symptomatic medication. Once again, I
can’t throw stones here because that was my exact routine for the first twenty
years of my career. It wasn’t until I had personally experienced these
gastrointestinal issues and learned about the “leaky gut syndrome” that I
realized how much more diligent we needed to be in our investigation of the
sad fact is that most of the so-called
“intestinal formulas” produced by the leaders in the pet food industry contained
one or more of the “big 4” trouble foods. It is not uncommon to find corn, soy
or even wheat in some of these “bland” diets. As a case in point, here is what
happened to one of my best friends who called me after years of being out of
touch. He had two aged Schnauzers that were having a number of health issues for
which Don and his wife could find no solid answers. They had been to a number of
the local veterinarians for chronic diarrhea, recurrent pancreatitis, ear
infections, and the beginnings of kidney failure. Finally, out of desperation,
they went to see a specialist at a veterinary university, who promptly
prescribed chicken and Cream of Wheat as the solution to their problems. When
this didn’t help, Don did an Internet search for my name and was quite surprised
to find that I had a presence on the Internet in this very field of medicine.
had a great reunion conversation, the climax of
which was my attempt to explain why a veterinary specialist would prescribe the
number-one food allergen, wheat, for a pet with chronic gastrointestinal issues.
“As hard as it is to believe, Don, these guys just don’t think this way.” I went
on to say that I could understand why the internist did not make the connection
between gluten and pancreatitis or kidney failure. He would have to be in-tune
with the celiac literature and understand lectins in order to make that leap.
But I really could not offer a great explanation as to why this "specialist"
felt compelled to make wheat one of the primary ingredients in an intestinal
diet other than stating that this was standard practice and what I was taught to
do over thirty years ago. Yes, if Don had been sitting next to me, I could have
shown him the home-prepared diet recipes for various medical conditions found in
the back of my internal medicine books utilizing Cream of Wheat in their
formulas. But, those books had been published thirty years prior, ten years
before the pet food industry made fateful transition from corn-based to
wheat-laden diets. Over the past twenty years, pets have become horribly
sensitized to wheat gluten and the allergy statistics tell the tale.
I instructed Don and Carol to start making their
own dog food using beef, turkey, eggs, vegetables, sweet potatoes and
well-cooked Idahos. The response was dramatic. I got a call from Don a short
time later with the report that Lucy and Ethel were doing remarkably well and
even acting like puppies again. In fact, Carol was so excited to see a normal
stool from Ethel that she threatened to send Don an Email picture of one of her
latest productions. As crazy as that sounds, people do get excited when a
long-term problem finally abates.
case illustrates three very important points: 1)
The body reacts the way it does for very good reason. If we insult it, it will
respond appropriately. We may not like the diarrhea, but it occurs for a reason;
2) We can cover up these symptoms with drugs and see major improvements as we do
so, even without eliminating the true, underlying cause. But, there will come a
time when the drugs stop working; and 3) The appropriate course of action can
result in rapid and permanent improvement.
recently had a case of chronic diarrhea in a cat of
two years duration. The owner drove over 50 miles to see me after finding my
Website. This poor kitty had been on antibiotics and gastrointestinal motility
drugs during that entire time, which allowed the patient to control her diarrhea
but never resulted in a formed stool. After taking a history of all diets the
owner had utilized during that time, I suspected that the kitty had a rice
allergy/intolerance and placed it on a meat-only commercial canned food that I
stocked at my hospital. We also did a food allergy test due to the chronic
nature of the intestinal condition and the accompanying diabetes, skin allergies
and ear problems. It typically takes ten days or so to obtain the results from
these tests but I called the owner three days after the exam to see how her cat
was doing. She excitedly reported that the patient had her first formed stool
the day before. Yes, despite suffering from diarrhea for over two years, the
patient's problem had abated after being on the elimination diet for only two
days. The diet change accomplished what years of medication had failed to do
and had done so faster than the owner could ever imagine.
happened to all of the "evil bacteria" that were
causing all of those chronic problems? How could an organism with such a bad
reputation for requiring antibiotics vanish in short order? The truths of the
matter are: They are not evil, they do not cause our chronic illness, nor are
they gone when we are lacking in symptoms.
serve numerous vital functions in our body,
including the facilitation of digestion, the production of vitamins, the control
of other potential pathogens (e.g. yeast), the escalation of the immune
response, and the provision of additional warning signs when we have made a
dietary or environmental mistake. Once again, a temporary upset of a bodily
system becomes a long term illness, or “disease”, when we fail to recognize the
underlying insult and halt that action.
just how quickly can a long-term issue
resolve with proper treatment? In the case of the gastrointestinal tract, which
is the fastest healing tissues in the body, this can occur in matter of days,
even after years of symptoms. It only took four days for my long-term heartburn
to resolve once I eliminated gluten from my diet. It took less than a week for
my friend's dog, Ethel, to get better. But it required less than 48 hours to
halt two years of diarrhea in that diabetic, allergy-riddled kitty cat. Bottom
line: These bacteria don't want to cause symptoms. They are being forced into
doing so by our actions, which usually violate the natural order on many levels.
Cats don't eat grains in nature; dogs don't consume soy or wheat in the wild;
and, humans are the only species that ever drinks the milk of another
aren’t there bacteria that cause more serious
illness and even death?” I am often asked as this point in the lecture. Yes,
there are. But as in the case of opportunist viral infections, most of these
extraordinary cases are experienced by those with compromised immune systems,
severe trauma, or concurrent illnesses that allow these bacteria to gain their
foothold. Unfortunately, there is good reason for the elderly pet or person to
be the most afflicted in this regard, as they have sustained the most trauma to
their organs over time and have suffered the loss of immune competency. However,
medical conditions that used to be restricted to the elderly are now being
reported in young adults, a fact that supports the notion we are doing this to
we do have mutant strains of bacteria that
are now showing up, just as we have ever-evolving strains of flu viruses, they
are changing in response to the same insults that we are throwing at viruses. In
fact, there are viruses known as bacteriophages that affect the bacteria
in the way that other viruses infect tissue cells. These adaptive viruses
help bacteria “evolve” (adapt to their ever-changing environment), enabling them
to become resistant to our constant insults (e.g. antibiotics, fluoridated
water, chemicals, preservatives and other pollutants). This helps to illustrate
the underlying importance of these poorly understood bacteria.
of the most interesting aspects of this adaption
is found in the ability of some bacteria to develop an “L-form”. In this case,
the bacteria sheds it outer cell wall and moves to the inside of a cell. Most
bacteria remain on the outside of a cell and infect it by attaching to the
receptors of that cell, creating inflammation in that tissue. Others, such as
Clostridial bacteria, produce an endotoxin that causes this inflammation or
dysfunction of that particular tissue, signaling the attention of the immune
system and inviting it's housecleaning crew to come mop up the mess we've
the L-form bacteria, also known as cell
wall deficient (CWD) bacteria, is able to move through the cell wall of the host
tissue and set up housekeeping inside that cell. Examples of bacteria
that are capable of making this fascinating transition are Streptococcus,
Borrelia (the Lyme organism), Helicobacter (a stomach resident), and
Mycobacterium (one of the bacteria involved in Crohn’s disease).
some clients tell me that this part is way too
technical for them, as if I couldn’t tell by the glazed look in their eyes. But
I ask them to hang in there for a moment because this rather technical
dissertation has a practical application. I assure my clients and readers that I
don’t expect them to remember any single trivial fact that I throw at them. I am
going for something much bigger- a change in mindset that will transform their
way of looking at illness and the symptoms that accompany it. I am also looking
to set up a road block between them experiencing a symptom and their reaching
for a symptomatic remedy from the medicine chest or the shelves of local
pharmacy. To be clear, I am not suggesting that readers simply abandon their
prescriptions but I do hope to provide information that may make some drugs less
necessary. Remember: I was on four or five different prescriptions at one time
in the year 2000 and have not taken a single one of them since.
the short version: Many of these L-form
bacteria have been implicated in a wide array of serious and chronic illnesses
including Crohn’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Barrett’s esophagus and lower
esophageal cancer, Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Syphilis. There
are also veterinary versions of many of these bacteria. Although antibiotics and
other symptomatic drugs are used to treat many of these conditions, most
sufferers are told that there is no cure for such afflictions. The goal is
typically to make the patient as comfortable as possible using the latest
pharmaceuticals, directed at the bacteria involved in the condition or toward
the inflammation, pain, depression, or symptoms associated with that condition.
Why can’t we cure these individuals? If it “just a bacterial infection”, why
can’t we wipe these guys out like we seem to do a sinus or urinary tract
we have known very little about these odd
little entities until just recently. In fact, some of them were literally
stumbled upon in the last decade. A very good example is the mycoplasma,
a member of the relatively newly designated group called the Mollicutes.
Alternately called PPLO’s or MLO’s, this unusual group of bacteria also lacks a
cell wall. Mycoplasma were recently found in the joints of a rheumatoid sufferer
when that individual contracted mycoplasmal pneumonia, a relatively common
respiratory condition of humans, and was placed on the appropriate antibiotic.
Doctors were amazed to find the patient’s rheumatoid arthritis also resolved
when the doxycycline was prescribed for the pneumonia. As Steven Colbert would
say to John Stewart of The Daily Show “Hmmm… That’s a three-stroker,
John!”, as he massaged his chin while reflecting on the irony of the statement
he had just made. But as I tell my clients, I may sometimes do the right thing
for the wrong reason but I am happy as long as I do the right thing.
turns out that a multitude of these intracellular
bacteria can be found throughout our body. Helicobacter pylori, for example, is
a normal resident of the stomach but moves into the lower esophagus once the
initial damage is done by chronic acid reflux. This guy is an “opportunist”…of
sorts. I would leave off the “of sorts” in my lectures until I realized
why Helicobacter moves into that damaged area. I used to think it was
purely because this bacteria wanted to cause disease and was simply
waiting for its opportunity, similar to the incorrect perspective I had on
viruses for so long.
now I believe that this bacteria sheds its skin
and moves into the cells of this area in order to escape the worsening
inflammation and the drugs being used to treat Barrett’s esophagus, that
precancerous change in the lower esophagus that results from severe and
persistent reflux. This cellular invasion by Helicobacter does turn the heat up
on the fire raging in that area but, once again, inflammation serves a purpose
by stimulating the immune system, promoting blood supply and cellular
replication, and providing us with escalating warning signs that we have made a
mistake. In this way, we can see that Helicobacter is the bridge between
phase-one and phase-two of esophageal, gastric and duodenal disorders. If we
ignore the early warning signs, there will be others that are more intense. If
we ignore those, then we will suffer the consequences about which the symptoms
were warning us, with cancer so commonly being the final phase of this
progression. Yes, Helicobacter has been indicted for his role in lower
yet, it has been established that over 50% of the
world’s population are “infected” with Helicobacter pylori and that 80% of those
individuals are asymptomatic. The statistics for the Tuberculosis bacteria are
similar. How can we call a guy like that a true pathogen?
my head is now screwed on a bit differently
and I now look for the purpose in all things medical, I have to believe that
bacteria like this have a positive role beyond what we currently understand. If
nothing else, they serve as sentinels or facilitators of inflammation, taking
inflammation to new heights in order to get our attention or that of the immune
system. If an Internet search is performed, Helicobacter is blatantly charged
with being the "cause" of gastric and duodenal ulcers. In my speaking
engagements, I like to refer to bacteria and viruses with personal pronouns and
shout out things like “No, he’s not!" Helicobacter may make the ulcer deeper and
wider (so that we finally start paying attention to what we are doing wrong) but
he doesn’t cause the ulcer from the get-go.
causes the initial ulcer? Inflammation starts
the process, just as it does in the skin of dogs with allergies. The infection
with bacteria is a secondary event. In the skin, inhalant allergies and
the subsequent release of histamine, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins shut off
the skin's ability to produce the two antibiotic substances that help control
the residential bacteria. The bacterial growth is a secondary occurrence and
serves multiple functions, including the attraction of the immune system and the
adaptation of those resident bacteria to their newly challenged environment.
They then re-enter the cell and report the change in external conditions to that
cell's mitochondria, which are responsible for the differentiation ('evolution")
of that cell. It's all part of an amazing process called adaptation,
involving resident bacteria and viruses and taking place in every cell of our
as we continue to provide the insults that
started the adaptive process, inflammation gets progressively worse. In both the
stomach and the skin illustrations, more cells become affected and more of the
allergy sentinels- the mast cells- join in the battle. In the skin, the results
of mast cell action are seen in the swelling and redness and felt in the burning
or itching that accompanies an allergic reaction. This is the principle finding
in dogs with food allergies whereas respiratory and gastrointestinal signs are
more common in humans and IBS is the predominant symptom is cats.
cells are located in the skin, gastrointestinal
tract and respiratory tree- all three areas where we and our pets suffer
immunological challenges. In the skin, they are concentrated in the feet, face
and anal area, which is incidentally where we are most likely to be challenged
by venomous insects. The release of histamine results in swelling designed to
entrap the bee, wasp or ant toxin, preventing its entry into the bloodstream.
Once again, the design is a grand one. But in stomach, histamine released by
mast cells triggers the release of acid, the body's desperate attempt to burn up
the offending food (e.g. wheat, dairy, soy or corn) while moderating the
reaction by our new friend Mr. Helicobacter.
surprisingly, things can escalate as we add drugs
to the mix. It turns out that Helicobacter pylori prefers an acid environment.
This should be no surprise since he is a normal resident of the stomach and
duodenum, the most acid-rich areas of our body. If he liked alkaline
surroundings, he would be found somewhere else in the system. But he enjoys an
optimal range and the pH of the stomach and upper GI tract is tempered by the
bicarbonate in our saliva and the food we ingest so that the optimal acidity is
maintained both during eating and between meals. This is yet another great
example of the technical perfection found in our bodies.
in steps man with his plan. Oblivious to the fact
that his intolerance to wheat, dairy, soy, corn or an array of secondary food
allergens has caused his stomach cells to produce excessive acid, he starts
downing the antacids to control the discomfort of heartburn- the warning sign
that his stomach so kindly provided. Many will say something like “Man, what did
I eat that did this to me” but then not give this profound revelation another
thought. Little did they know that they had the solution, albeit momentary,
right there in their head. Yes, it was the food that did this. Why do we
not pursue this line of thinking?
Helicobacter says something a little different in
this situation. In effect, he says “What the heck?” as we rapidly turn his house
into an alkaline environment, kind of like turning off the heat on a freezing
winter day. He dives under the covers and finds a nice cozy little spot in a bed
of inflammation caused by the initial reaction to the food. As things progress,
this adaptive bacteria decides he prefers a California King instead of the baby
bed he first encountered. He needs more room to expand because things are
getting a bit dicey, with all of the inflammation and alkaline rain taking
place. The ulcer enlarges and ultimately starts to bleed...until a scientist
discovers that Helicobacter is “causing” the ulcer and develops antibiotics that
kill him in his bed. “Problem solved!” Or is it?
found out something really interesting about this
particular bacterium while I was doing some research on strokes and heart
attacks. Researchers have discovered Helicobacter DNA in atherosclerotic
(cholesterol) plaques that have formed on the walls of the carotid artery. In
fact, in one study, over 50% of the arteries sampled were positive for this
normal resident of the stomach. Wow! The doctors involved in the study were
trying to determine the clinical significance of these bacterial invaders and
were questioning whether the presence of Helicobacter in these plaques was a
stimulus for the development of the atherosclerosis or a trigger for the release
of pieces of the plaque, which would then travel downstream from the site,
obstruct that vessel, and result in a stroke.
the jury is still out on that case. I
know how I would vote: Not guilty by reason of our insanity. In the meantime,
another strange bacterium, Chlamydia pneumoniae, has also been found in similar
lesions of blood vessels. Like the mycoplasma, this intracellular bacterium has
been classified and reclassified over time, first being deemed a protozoan, then
a virus, and finally a bacterium. Why the confusion? Because this critter is an
obligate intracellular bacterium, which means he can only reproduce inside the
cell, just like the members of his previous classifications. They infect other
cells by forming a kind of spore which can survive outside the cell for a short
period of time until it attaches to the receptors of another cell and imbibed by
that cell. Once there, it quickly forms a covering that protects itself from the
invader-killing structures called lysosomes. In this little cocoon (inclusion
body), it starts to replicate and is later triggered to release its offspring to
infect other cells.
report that they don’t really understand
the triggers and pathways by which this guy moves from one form to another but
Chlamydia have been identified as STDs in humans and are the leading cause of
infectious blindness worldwide (trachoma). Other species are affected by
different members of this group, including cats, mice, hamsters and swine. With
that collection of affected species, one would have to wonder whether there has
been some transmission between them. We know that a number of viruses and
bacteria move between species and I suspect many more than we have formally
documented make this transition.
happens to be a bacteria that does cross
species lines. In the cat, this organism causes an upper respiratory condition
and conjunctivitis (pink eye), just as it does in humans. Interestingly enough,
it usually infects one eye and then can move into the other eye in about three
weeks, during which time the infection can be transmitted to the owner. Although
this is uncommon, I have had it occur in veterinary clients. But what is both
fascinating and relevant is that the infected cat can have recurrences in their
lifetime, during which they show the same pattern of infection, starting
unilaterally and characterized by varying degrees of conjunctivitis. Most don’t
have a recurrence of the respiratory condition but this can occur, especially in
immune-suppressed individuals, as the organism is known to remain in tissues
this condition is chronic, latent, and
potentially contagious to humans, I began to question whether allergies to cats
served a greater purpose. As I mentioned in the section on the development of
inhaled allergies, the body knows exactly what it is doing when it forms
this kind of sensitivity. The stuffy nose and runny eyes that cat allergy
sufferers develop may very well be protecting us from more than just the cat’s
dander.(See the Appetizer on "Tear
Staining in Dogs" for an interesting parallel in the dog.)
these organisms are ubiquitous and there is
potential for zoonosis (traveling from animals to man), then why aren't more
people outwardly affected? Or are they? Researchers have now found mycoplasma in
the brain of people with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Gulf War
Syndrome as well as the peripheral nerves of people with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s
disease) and the lungs of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder). Because
they are inside the cell and can cause significant disruption of cellular
function, including disorders of the mitochondrial power houses of the cell,
they have finally gotten the full attention of the scientific community. In
fact, because these Mollicutes can "interfere" with DNA transcription, their
role in the development of cancer is now being investigated.
results of some studies have been reported as
being " inconclusive" but we do know that the mitochondria of the cell
are involved in cell growth and differentiation and the DNA of these little
power houses show a remarkable resemblance to the genome of bacteria.
Thankfully, the DNA of the mitochondria is separate and independent of that
found in the nucleus of the cell, where most of our functional DNA is housed.
However, it is clear that these bacteria play a vital role in cellular function,
facilitating adaptation and determining the differentiation of the cell.
perfect example of this amazing process is their
response to cigarette smoke. We know that chronic smoke inhalation leads to a
change in morphology of the cells that line the respiratory tract. These
delicate cells start out as a tall, slimy cell with a hair-like projection
called a cilia, used for sweeping out debris, irritants and pollutants. But the
constant heat and chemical insults associated with cigarette smoking causes
these cells to undergo a cellular change called squamous metaplasia, in
which the insulted cells become more like skin. This is known to be a
precancerous change. These cells get flatter and flatter, ultimately losing
their cilia and ability to sweep, leading to the "smoker's cough".
fascinating thing is this process can be
reversed if the individual stops smoking in time, the problem being that we
can't see this adaptive process taking place. We just have to believe and
understand that is it occurring. When has has the smoker gone too far? When have
they reaches the point of no return
that point is reached when the
mitochondria have been signaled by the resident, adaptive bacteria in the lungs
to undergo the squamous metaplasia (a form of cell differentiation) and the
nucleus tells the cell to divide, the latter being under the control of the
adaptive viruses involved in this process. As we said, viruses affect the
nucleus while pleomorphic bacteria influence the mitochondria. As long as we
have only the mitochondria involved, the cell undergoes metaplasia- an adaptive
process that helps to protect the cell...and it's residents. But when the
nuclear viruses becomes involved, bad things can happen. In a word, cancer.
After all, we have established that nearly 40% of the genetic codes in our DNA
are viral codes, passed down though the generations and explaining "genetic
diseases", including various cancers that run so consistently through human
families and dog breeds.
yet, many people have never heard of these
DNA-encoded viruses or pleomorphic bacteria, just as most never heard the words
“cancer” and “virus” used in the same sentence until the cervical cancer vaccine
was introduced. Are the guys in lab coats, who are supposedly running around in
those ivory towers, protecting us from a public panic or are they simply waiting
‘til they get their ducks in a row before becoming the harbingers of this
seemingly bad news? Or is it something a little more complex than that? I hate
to be the one to burst the bubble but we have to face the fact that medicine is
an inexact science at this point. We have done some regrettable things in the
past- all in the name of science- motivated by the spirit of discovery,
protected by a veil of secrecy, and covered by the cloak of ignorance. Hey, we
all make mistakes because we don’t know everything…yet.
the other hand, it’s 2009 as I write this and we
have made quantum leaps in our technology, all the while remaining relatively
ignorant (or in denial) of how the body truly operates. We’ve been to the
moon and placed instruments on far away planets and yet we haven’t grasped how
our diets are killing us. That is quite frightening to me. It’s not that we are
told by doctors to take antacids and antibiotics to kill symptoms and bacteria
that serve a greater purpose that concerns me most. It is the fact that these
same scientists are using these misunderstood viruses and bacteria in their
development of vaccines and the modification of food, both of which have the
potential for disastrous results on a global scale.
I study more about GMOs (genetically modified
organisms) and their use in our foods and the latest line-up of inoculations for
pets and their people, it reads like a science fiction novel complete with mad
scientists and bizarre life-forms developing on earth. Have we not learned any
more about these natural, helpful, earthly microorganisms than we knew about
those extraterrestrial beings emanating from flying saucers that landed in the
Saturday matinees of yore?
not. But we're getting there.
Email to Amy of Bacteriality.com
The following is a letter that I submitted to the author of a great article
on L-form bacteria on a very interesting Website, www.bacteriality.com. This is the home of the controversial but effective Marshall Protocol, an
approach to the treatment of chronic illness that focuses on the role that L-form bacteria play is such diseases.
A very good article on L-form bacteria, authored by Amy Proal, can be found here: Understanding L-form Bacteria. It is as good of an explanation of these little guys as I have read. But,
as my readers might imagine, I have a slightly different slant on the subject.
I would suggest that you read this article (http://bacteriality.com/2007/08/15/l-forms/) before you read my response, but if you don't have the time or just aren't that interested, then go right ahead and read
the following letter. Hopefully you'll still get something out of it.
Posted as a response on 3-19-09
I am a veterinarian who is doing research on the
origins of disease. This came about after my miraculous recovery from multiple ailments following my diagnosis of food intolerance,
particularly celiac disease. I have chronicled my recovery and findings on my Website, www.dogtorj.com.
I've come to the conclusion that most of what we
call "disease" are long-term symptoms arising from the "civil war" taking place in our body between its residents- our cells
and those entities designed to help and protect those residents (e.g. viruses and bacteria) and the constant barrage of immune
challenges that we throw at them (e.g. food lectins, carcinogens, chemicals/preservatives, trans fats, fluoride (an "antibiotic"
and carcinogen), air pollution, etc. etc. These coupled with our horrific fast-food diets, lack of sleep/exercise/sunlight,
and self-induced misery through alcohol/drug abuse and penchant for sugar has brought all of the plagues of Pandora's Box
And yet, we keep pointing the finger at microorganisms
like viruses and bacteria, including L-forms and mollicutes, as the enemy. Granted,
most don’t know or fully understand the true nature of viruses and bacteria- that they are crucial for our survival,
being important instruments in our adaptation to this ever-changing environment in which we live. But shouldn’t intelligent
people be asking why these guys are so ubiquitous and a relative few people are suffering from the “diseases”
caused by these “culprits?
The fact is that viruses and L forms do what they
do because they NEED to survive because they are crucial to OUR survival. Would you disagree that if we could snap our fingers
and make all viruses and bacteria disappear from the planet that the entire ecosystem would collapse? Certainly, we know-
and you have stated- that the vast majority of these bacteria are not pathogenic? What really distinguishes a pathogen from
a saprophyte- or a helper?
When huge numbers of the population are infected
with various “pathogenic” bacteria and yet remain asymptomatic, shouldn’t it give us pause as to why they
become such culprits of disease in the “unfortunate” few? Are they just unfortunate or have they done something-
or lived somewhere, in the case of pollution- that has brought this plague onto themselves.
We know that the number one risk of developing Legionnaire’s Disease was/is cigarette smoking. Now there’s
I believe down to my core that viruses and bacteria
work in concert to help us all, especially when it comes to adaptation and survival. Bacteria form L-forms and viruses mutate
because they NEED TO SURVIVE- they are critical to our survival and only become pathogens because we have forced them into
doing so with the laundry list given above. Cancer is little more than a virus (and/or an intracellular bacteria) forcing
that cell to duplicate out of control in a desperate attempt to protect itself- and the cell it was designed to protect- as
well escape those noxious elements (we call them “carcinogens”) that have forced them into this final phase of
Our immune system tried valiantly to deal with this
during the preceding “autoimmune” phase, a term I no longer use because the thought of our immune system attacking
itself for no reason is preposterous, especially in light of your research on L-forms. And we can’t say we weren’t
warned by the broad array of symptoms we were given- the heartburn, IBS, allergies, hives, cough, migraines, seizures, fatigue/depression,
etc, etc, etc.
Certainly, there are those who have become so afflicted
and immune challenged that they need some pharmaceutical aid dealing with these helper-turned-“culprit” bacteria
but to become dependent upon antibiotics for any significant length of time is both potentially dangerous and unnecessary.
But if we stop the assault we are laying down on these misunderstood and reactionary residents, we can come off the drugs
(like I did) and re-establish the status quo- and LONG before the two or three year mark in most cases, I believe.
People simply need to know that WE are the
culprit, not these microorganisms at which we keep pointing our scientific finger. Why? Because these organisms- the viruses,
bacteria, L-forms and mollicutes- are here to stay! It is we who are the transient visitors. And if we want to enjoy our stay,
we’re going to have to learn how to treat ourselves- and those who reside within us- a whole lot better.
I do hope this helps,
John B. Symes, DVM