Good Lifestyle vs. Vaccines/Drugs for Prevention/Treatment
Pasteur and Bernard

The following is the reason why I don’t believe in making vaccines for every new pathological virus coming into the world:

 

When I was in Naturopathic College, I learned about the long standing rivalry between Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard. Pasteur, as you probably remember, was instrumental in discovering that micro-organisms cause disease and in developing the first vaccines. He also worked with the micro-organisms that ferment beer, and wine. He maintained that micro-organisms were responsible for all disease activity.

 

Claude Bernard, on the other hand, was a physiologist (he studied the actions of organs in the human body). Among many other accomplishments, he was one of the first to suggest the use of blind experiments to ensure the objectivity of scientific observations. Bernard argued that the balance in the body’s internal environment was everything in terms of preventing disease. When the internal balance (homeostasis) is disturbed, the body becomes susceptible to infectious agents. After all, there are trillions of microbes inhabiting our guts, our blood, our whole body. Why do they sometimes cause disease, and sometimes not?

 

Their friendly disagreement was ended when Pasteur, on his death-bed, renounced his germ theory saying that “Bernard is right. The microbe is nothing. The environment (the human body) is everything.”

 

The renowned twentieth century microbiologist Rene Dubos (known for the General Adaptation Syndrome – essentially the stress response), agreed with Bernard - “Most microbial diseases are caused by organisms present in the body of a normal individual. They become the cause of disease when a disturbance arises which upsets the equilibrium of the body.”

 

Today we see Pasteur’s work reflected in the pharmaceutical industry’s pursuit of ever more potent anti-biotic and anti-viral drugs. Bernard/Dubos theory of homeostatic balance controlling health and resilience, is seen in the ancient medical systems of India and China, as well as in Naturopathic, Functional and Integrative medicine. In these various approaches, health maintenance and disease prevention involve conscious attention to life-style, environment, nutrition, exercise, relaxation, stress management, psychological well-being and spiritual practice.

 

Unfortunately, in this country poor lifestyle habits are too ingrained to change in order to rout this pandemic. Potentially people will see the association between age (accumulation of poor lifestyle practices), chronic diseases (more poor lifestyle practices) and the development of Covid-19 in certain parts of the population. There is definitely a lack of time to educate and inculcate into the population the benefits of proper lifestyle in terms of thwarting this pandemic.

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© 2016 Ellen Potthoff, DC, ND

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