Mycobacterium. Is it the Crohns disease cause? How to interpret Crohns disease research?
I was doing Crohns disease research about
causes of Crohns disease and got to my first article about Mycobacteria.
When I first learned that this Mycobacteria is being associated as one of the possible causes of Crohns disease, I was thrilled! Don’t be surprised. I was happy because, if that was the case, it would be so simple to eradicate Mycobacterium with a strong antimicrobial and finally cure Crohns disease.
So what do we know about this? For years there were debates on this subject. This was investigated in many different countries. What is the connection?
In order to investigate it we have to go back all the way to 1913 when Dr. Dalziel recognized Crohns disease before Dr. Crohn presented it to the medical world in 1932. Dr. Dalziel recognized that what is now called Crohns disease was different from then known disease called intestinal tuberculosis. Intestinal tuberculosis can be caused by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis.
But this doctor believed that disease was similar enough to intestinal tuberculosis and probably also was caused by Mycobacteria. He could not prove it because when he analyzed tissues samples this bacteria was not showing up. Later, Dr. Crohns classified Crohns disease with no mycobacterium origin because it was not possible to demonstrate visible bacteria.
Mycobacterium is a genus of bacteria. There are many different species of this bacteria.
Mycobacteria avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is an obligate pathogenic mycobacteria. It means that this bad bacteria will need a host like a human or an animal to multiply. It can live for a long time outside the host.
MAP causes Johnes disease, an intestinal illness (disease) in animals. Johnes disease in animals is very similar to Crohns disease in humans. That’s why MAP was continued to be investigated as one of the possible causes of Crohns disease.
Recently, scientists at the University of Liverpool found that a type of carbohydrate, called mannose, comes from MAP. And this mannose molecule does not allow the white blood cells, which are macrophages, kill E-coli in the abdomen. In other words, the natural protectors could not fight the E-coli in the gut and E-coli can cause a fierce gastro-intestinal infection.
The studies were mostly inconclusive. I realized that until this hypothesis is proven the only thing that I can do is try to keep my immune system working at its best so it would be able to fight off bad bacteria.
Maintaining a well balanced immune system is very important.
I wish you great health!
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