by Gabriel Donohoe
Modern Medicine is inextricably devoted to the Germ Theory of Disease promulgated by Louis Pasteur in the late 1800’s. Pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, antibiotics, and vaccinations are firmly founded upon this theory.
But, in embracing Pasteur’s theory, did medicine turn its back on a more complete theory that might have lessened or avoided more than a century of needless death and disease?
Today, ill health is pandemic, people are getting sicker and sicker, and hospitals are so full that patients are crammed into corridors on trolleys.
Chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes have reached epidemic proportions and are rising steadily despite the best efforts of modern medicine. Even worse, in the U.S.A., properly prescribed drugs actually kill 106,000 patients a year through deadly side effects (Journal of the American Medical Association, July 26th, 2000). And in the U.K. prescription drugs kill 10,000 people a year (BBC News, July 2nd, 2004.)
The Nutrition Institute of America reported in October, 2003, that 2.2 million hospital patients suffer adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to prescribed medicine each year and that the total annual number of iatrogenic deaths (deaths caused by doctors or medicine) is as high as 783,936. In the U.K. the BBC says that 1 in 16 hospital admissions are due to ADRs which costs the National Health Service half a billion pounds Sterling.
The scale of deaths, injuries, and adverse reactions to drugs mentioned above is an horrendous downside of pharmaceutical intervention. We have to ask ourselves if the benefits really justify the dangers. And why are drugs so ineffective in combating degenerative disease?
Since President Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971 billions of dollars have been spent on research yet the true survival rates for this illness has hardly changed in three decades. Some 500,000 Americans die from cancer every year; in 2004, the U.K. death toll was 153,397 (Cancer Research UK). And despite the cancer societies’ pleas for more money and more time to find the elusive “magic bullet” there appears to be no cure in sight.
Can it be that modern medicine’s understanding of disease is flawed?
Allopathic medicine’s entire approach to disease is firmly founded on Louis Pasteur’s germ theory. Pasteur states that germs (bacteria) create illness, that they invade the body from without, that they are monomorphic (have only one form), that there are many species involved, and that each disease is connected with a specific type of bacteria. The only way to regain health is to kill these invading microbes. Destroy them with drugs.
And that’s modern medicine’s strategy in dealing with disease. But it’s not working. Chronic disease is rampant. As we’ve seen, drugs rarely cure, are often lethal, and the side effects can be devastating.
Dare we think the unthinkable? Could Pasteur have been wrong?
If Pasteur was wrong, then, in the infamous words of Lord Denning on the Birmingham Six miscarriage of justice, we would have an “Appalling Vista!” The reputations of countless medics and scientists would be ruined, pharmaceutical companies would go out of business, most hospitals would close, and millions of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers would be out of a job. Unthinkable, utterly unthinkable!
Devotion to dogma and resistance to innovation are not new in medicine. One has only to recall how Doctor Semmelweis was hounded to insanity by his peers for daring to suggest that they should wash their hands between performing autopsies and delivering babies.
But what if Pasteur were indeed wrong?
Antoine Béchamp, a contemporary of Pasteur, was an eminent professor whose observations in microbiology led him to believe that while germs were present in disease they were not the cause of it. He discovered that bacteria evolved from indestructible living colloids which he termed “microzymas”.
Béchamp further observed, in direct contrast to Pasteur, that microzymas are pleomorphic, that is, they change form and can become viruses, bacteria, fungus, yeast, and moulds. Furthermore, germs do not always arrive from outside but are invariably present in the body. Bacteria live in harmony within a healthy body, but when the body becomes unhealthy they morph into more pathogenic forms.
Another scientist, Claude Bernard, agreed with Béchamp and said that it was the internal terrain or milieu intérieur that caused the microbes to change form and become pathogenic. If the body became toxic, microzymas could evolve into harmful bacteria and, if the terrain improved, could devolve back to microzymas again.
However, Pasteur’s theory held sway. The assertive, self-promoting Pasteur convinced the powers of French medicine that his theory was correct and that the pleomorphic theory of the quiet, modest Béchamp was wrong. But on his death-bed Pasteur recanted and said that “Bernard (Béchamp) was right… The microbe is nothing… The terrain is everything.” But his theory had taken such hold that no one took note.
And modern medicine was born.
Nonetheless, Béchamp’s work on pleomorphism has been kept very much alive down through the decades by doctors and scientists like Enderlein, Rife, Reich, Livingston, Naessens, Cantwell, Young, and others. Today, Béchamp’s work is enjoying something of a revival by health care professionals who are not satisfied with the ineffectiveness and toxicity of drug-based medicine.
Adhering to Béchamp’s theory these pioneering practitioners believe that virtually all diseases arise from a toxic terrain, i.e., over-acidity of the blood. They say that the way to fight disease is by reducing the acidity with alkalising foods and minerals. This acidity is the milieu intérieur of Dr. Bernard which causes benign microbes to change into morbid pathogens. The body struggles to keep the pH level of the blood at 7.365 and anything lower (more acidic) promotes ill health and disease.
Microzymas interpret increasing acidity as death of the body and morph into moulds to perform one of their true functions – to break down tissue and bone and return it to dust. And that is why germs are present in disease, not as the cause but as Nature’s cleansers of dead or dying tissue.
The Chinese knew this thousands of years ago when they said, “Worms will not eat living wood where the vital sap is flowing…”
In this new beginning of a new millennium new thinking is essential to halt our alarming descent into sickness and disease. Perhaps the next decade or so will see more widespread interest in Béchamp’s work and promote more research into the New Biology which will steer us toward our true birthright – total vibrant health and vigour.