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We are an ecosystem... or several in fact

(12 Posts)
JessM Thu 17-Apr-14 08:35:11

This is very interesting area of biological research. We each of us carry more bacterial cells in and on our bodies than we have human cells. We need them to be healthy. An example being - if too many broad-spectrum antibiotics kill off a lot of gut bacteria, C. difficile takes over. The "micro biome" is the word for this vast and little understood range of bacteria. Many of them cannot be grown in a laboratory.

Grannyknot Thu 17-Apr-14 16:13:47

Fascinating. Thanks for posting.

Granniepam Thu 17-Apr-14 16:43:26

So... my vaginal community is associated with my education? confused
Is that a causal relationship?

goldengirl Thu 17-Apr-14 17:35:22

I've never been a fan of antibiotics until absolutely needed them and I still contracted c.diff - but fortunately survived though still have problems. I think we make a rod for our own backs by using antibiotics willy hilly. The consequences don't just affect ourselves but others by allowing disease to spread more quickly and for bugs to adapt accordingly

durhamjen Thu 17-Apr-14 18:24:22

That's what happened to my mother in law. I could not believe the number of courses of antibiotics she had been given over the past couple of years. She ended up in hospital with c. difficile.
There is an article in last Saturday's Guardian by Jeanette Winterson on a similar theme, about having bio-identicals instead of everyone being given the same remedy. She was specifically writing about HRT, but bio-identicals are useful to treat depression as well.

durhamjen Thu 17-Apr-14 18:28:28

Just in case anyone wants to read it.

JessM Thu 17-Apr-14 18:38:14

Sounds like a load of nonsense to me. Sorry durhamjen. Expensive alternative potions for wealthy, arty (long winded) customer.

MiceElf Thu 17-Apr-14 18:53:03

I read that too! Not for the first time I wish I was scientifically literate.

durhamjen Thu 17-Apr-14 19:03:59

Did you get down as far as this, JessM?
Bio-identicals are made from plant sources – usually wild yams or soya beans, and because they have an identical structure to the hormones our bodies produce, our bodies tolerate them. "Look at progesterone," said Gluck. "Doctors prescribe Provera, which is a progestin, not progesterone. Provera is a chemical substitute for a naturally occurring hormone, just as Premarin is a chemical substitute for oestrogen. These are drugs, not hormones, and like all drugs they have a side-effects profile."

She got out a pen and paper and drew me the molecular structures of bio-identicals versus synthetics. "Anyone can understand this. You can agree, disagree, argue, but you need the information. If not, so-called choice means nothing."

Criticisms that bio-identicals are unproven or unsafe are ignorant. Big Pharma manufactures its own bio-identicals and sells them under their proprietary brand names such as Testogel, Intrinsa, Estraderm, Vagifem, Utrogest, Oestrogel etc. These brands are made to a uniform prescription using the same tested and approved ingredients that a licensed compounding pharmacy will use to make an individual prescription that is balanced for each person's needs.

Doesn't sound like nonsense to me.

annodomini Thu 17-Apr-14 19:36:36

Why should we want to reverse the menopause? Just asking.... tbuconfused

JessM Fri 18-Apr-14 07:48:43

I'm sure JW was impressed but whether she understood was another matter. She is not known for having any medical or scientific training but some reputation for enthusing about alternative medication.
The trouble with alternative medication is that the safety and quality checks are not as stringent as mainstream medicine. And they have not been through the same kind of trials to see if they actually work, or how much you need to get an effect. The way hormones behave in the human body is complicated. If you decide to take them you are taking a risk. No reason whatsoever to think the risks are less if the products are "natural". I would not take black cohosh, red clover etc for that reason. And no doubt they are a lot cheaper than the "bespoke" stuff that JW is eulogising - its a just based on a cosy-sounding theory.

Aka Fri 18-Apr-14 08:04:30

Not all a load of nonsense Jess

I haven't time to digest and study all of that link in detail, but i did speed read it. One area I can comment on jumped out at me, that about fertility and thyroid, and investigating this before IVF. While I'm not aware that low thyroid levels affect conception they do cause miscarriages.

This was found to be the cause of my daughters miscarriages and treatment with thyroxin resulted in a viable pregnancy and my youngest GS tbusmile