Pasteur vs Bechamp
In the 1800’s there were two contemporary French scientists whose research contributed mightily to our views of how medicine and the public approach an infection or a health crisis like the pandemic we are seeing today. Our airwaves are filled with talk about immunology, viral shedding, PCR testing, and protocols such as social distancing and mask wearing requirements as a result from the emergence of the Covid-19 virus. In large measure we have Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) to credit for this. Pasteur is credited with the germ theory of disease. This theory says that there are fixed, external germs (or microbes) which invade the body and cause a variety of separate, definable diseases. To get well, you need to identify and then kill whatever made you sick. Pasteur’s “monomorphic” germ theory required drugs, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy as well as vaccines to keep germs at bay. Claude Bernard (1813-1878), along with a more brilliant contemporary Antoine Bechamp (1816-1908) who built upon Bernard’s work developed his own theory of health and disease which revolved around “pleomorphism” which in contrast to Pasteur, contended that there were small particles in every plant and animal cell (microzymas) that could change form, function and create toxicity when the terrain of the body was in an unhealthy state. Bechamp’s Biological Terrain theory also naturally becomes vulnerable to external harmful microzyma or germs, but he saw germs as opportunistic to a weakened terrain. Bechamp’s biological terrain theory sees our bodies as mini-ecosystems, or biological terrains in which nutritional status, level of toxicity and pH or acid/alkaline balance, exercise, and fresh air play key roles in health. Not surprisingly, Bechamp argued strenuously against vaccines asserting that “the most serious disorders may be provoked by the injection of living organisms into the blood”. However, Pasteur and his like-minded contemporary Robert Koch won the propaganda war favoring the germ theory and what eventually became the foundation of medical thought including the widespread use of patented medications and vaccines. However, even though Pasteur and Bechamp were adversaries throughout their lives, it is known that Pasteur on his death bed said, “Le microbe n’est rien, le terrain est tout.” (The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything).
The Result of the Germ Theory
Because of the germ theory, the vaccine industry within the pharmaceutical industry has grown to be the 60-billion-dollar industry today. The entire pharmaceutical industry is much larger than just the vaccine piece. In 2019 the pharmaceutical industry generated 1.25 trillion dollars worldwide. Despite a 2016 poll which showed a majority of Americans feel prescription drugs should not be advertised on TV, drug companies spend approximately 4 billion dollars a year on TV advertising and that generates influence in the media and our thinking when we are looking for guidance with our concerns about health problems. With our current pandemic, the conversation in the media almost exclusively promotes prescriptive therapeutic antivirals and a future vaccine as the only solution to the Covid-19 quandary.
The Terrain Theory making a comeback?
This week I saw an article from Washington University researchers in St. Louis with an approach to address what they called “Boosting the immune system as a strategy for Covid-19”. The article talked about the hyperinflammatory response that has been observed in the more serious Covid-19 cases and how testing Covid patients showed fewer circulating immune cells than is typical. This fits in with the terrain theory that should be given more of a platform to balance out the germ theory.
This should not come as a surprise. In previous newsletters I have written about the bacterial and viral microbiome that exists within us that helps our immune system ward off potentially harmful invaders. Bacteriophages or more commonly called phages are good viruses that infect bacteria and kill them. By some estimates there are somewhere around 380 trillion viruses in and on the human body. That is about 150x more bacteria than we have in our bodies and probably 10,000x more human cells than we have. This terrain is essential for life and is responsible for our constant vigilance against the 200 species of respiratory viruses we have been in contact each year prior to covid-19. In addition, we need sunshine and specifically vitamin D to help our immune system. There are numerous studies showing the link between Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin E, Glutathione, and Omega 3 fats as being important considerations for helping any respiratory infection including Covid-19. This paper from Science Direct is one of many. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378512220303467
Pasteur is still winning the narrative
Fueled by the fear that without vaccines we will not be able to return safely to the lives we led pre-pandemic, the race for a vaccine continues. I find it encouraging that approximately 40-50% of the population is reticent in taking it. However, the U.S. government just spent almost 10 billion dollars securing over a billion doses of vaccines from seven different pharmaceutical and biotech companies that are still in a testing phase. Because immunity may only last for six months, just over a billion doses would fulfill three to four doses of vaccine for every person in the country over the next two years. Here is a breakdown of the covid-19 shopping list.
Pfizer 1.95 billion dollars for 100 million doses by the end of the year and 500 million doses by the end of 2021.
Glaxo Smith Kline 2.1 billion dollars for 100 million doses by the end of this year.
Noravax 1.6 billion dollars for 100 million doses by the end of this year.
Janssen and J&J 1.456 billion dollars for 100 million doses by the end of this year and 500 million doses after that.
Astrazeneca 1.2 billion dollars for 300 million doses by the end of this year
Moderna 955 million dollars for 600 million doses to a billion doses
Merck 38 million dollars for their oral vaccine.
With that many doses being bought, are we being naive to think that this vaccine will be voluntary? With this rush to get vaccines by years end, the government has granted immunity from liability to these vaccine manufacturers under the emergency use act. Therefore, there is little incentive for these companies to follow through with the safety testing such as animal testing and proper length of study to determine side effects. Under the emergency act, the FDA relies more on the manufacturers data, than their own independent testing. Even pro vaccine experts such as Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. Peter Hotez have come out publicly with statements of caution regarding the shortcuts in safety with the Covid-19 vaccines.
There are truths to both the germ theory and the terrain theory. What I am concerned about is the lack of attention to the terrain model of health. Walls of plexiglass, the masking of our faces, and the spraying of antiseptics add fuel to the idea that the germ is to be feared and the human biological terrain that has been developing over millions of years of evolution, is incapable of responding adequately when needed. What lesson does this teach children? That they have little control over their bodies and to fear the microscopic germs that are around us? That we cannot rely upon naturally acquired immunity through healthy living? That we should instead rely upon immunity through a vaccine with potential side effects to our own biological terrain that could exceed the disease it is supposed to guard against? Is the germ (virus) the cause of death or is it like a buzzard feeding on a dead deer on the side of road. Did the buzzard kill the deer? There are many complicated aspects to the narrative of this pandemic. I will continue to address them in the following months. My concern at this moment is, has the credo “my body, my choice” become just a quaint notion rather than a basic right? With compulsory demands on behavior already in place, and possibly compulsory vaccinations on the horizon, the “Pasteur vs Bechamp” or “germ vs terrain” operatic script is likely to end in the same disappointing way that it did two centuries ago.