Skip to comments.'Silent Killer' May Be Disease of the Affluent
Posted on 06/02/2012 7:05:57 PM PDT by neverdem
From an early age, the indigenous Shuar people of the Ecuadorian Amazon are exposed to an army of parasites, viruses, and other microbes. But if children survive to adulthood—no guarantee, given that they're three times more likely to die before the age of 5 than children in the United States and Canada—they seem to end up with more efficient immune systems than people living in industrialized nations. That's the conclusion of a new study, which adds weight to the idea that early exposure to pathogens confers long-term health benefits.
Inflammation is part of a healthy immune response, allowing the body to orchestrate an onslaught of immune cells and chemicals to heal an injury and fight infection. But sometimes the process goes awry, as when obesity, periodontal disease, stress, or a chronic infection such as herpes continuously stimulates the immune system, causing chronic, low-grade inflammation. This can eventually interfere with the body's healthy tissues, increasing the risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disease. In the West, chronic inflammation is known as a "silent killer."
Chronic inflammation is widespread in industrialized nations, and researchers have wondered if it's also rampant in nonindustrialized nations, where fewer people are overweight, for example, but where more people are exposed to acute infectious disease.
To find out, biological anthropologists Thomas McDade of Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois; Josh Snodgrass of the University of Oregon in Eugene; and colleagues measured the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood, a marker of a person's inflammatory response. The researchers collected blood samples 4 weeks in a row from 52 adults between the ages of 18 and 49 in Shuar communities near the town of Sucúa in the lowlands of the Amazon in Ecuador. They found that some of the adults had a high level of CRP at a single point in time, indicating an acute inflammatory response to an infection. But not a single Shuar tested above 3 milligrams per liter-the benchmark for a chronic inflammatory response in the United States. This differs from the pattern in industrialized nations, where CRP is chronically elevated in about one-third of adults, the team reports online this week in the American Journal of Human Biology.
In the Shuar, says McDade, "CRP goes up when you need it, but it is almost undetectable when you don't, after the infection resolves." And that suggests that exposure to microbes early in life may fine-tune the immune system so that it can regulate its response to acute and low-grade infections more efficiently—much in the same manner as the so-called "hygiene hypothesis" predicts that children who are exposed to microbes, such as on farms, for example, are less likely to develop allergies later in life. Indeed, the rural Shuar foragers are very lean and healthy, with low rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, says Snodgrass.
Others agree with these conclusions. "McDade's general point that the immune system is dysregulated in the absence of pathogen exposure early in life is extremely important—and seems to have downstream consequences on many seemingly unrelated diseases," says biological anthropologist Michael Gurven of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In the absence of these organisms that co-evolved with us, people living in industrialized nations developed a defect in their immune regulation, says microbiologist Graham Rook of University College London, who proposed in 2003 that with urbanization, humans are not exposed to as many pathogens, such as parasites and bacteria in dirty water and mud. Poorly controlled inflammation, he notes, "occurs not in people living in third-world countries, riddled with infections, but rather in rich, infection-free, urbanized populations." In other words, says McDade, "chronic inflammation may be a disease of affluence."
I swam and played in polluted water as a child. My husband claims that that is responsible for my relative longevity lol.
It is all those vaccines governments require, they’ve damaged the genetic strenth of people in industrialized nations.
It is the germophobic nature of our culture and all the chemicals we use trying to protect ourselves/children.
It is all the chemicals used in our food both to protect us and to make us thinner...
It is not affluence.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my combined microbiology/immunology ping list.
Stay healthy: Eat more Dirt
Or at least that's how the papers summarized it.
We do not accept the infant mortality rate of the Third World. The kids in the article are survivors.
“Your tag line is a pretty frightening thought.”
Maybe this was Carter’s response to Romney calling Obama worse than Carter. Carter had to say something to damage Romney - hard to think of anything nastier.
“He soon became a specialist, specializing in diseases of the rich. He was therefore able to retire at an early age.” - Tom Lehrer
What doesn’t kill ya makes ya stronger!
From my understanding, the theory is that our immune system is so primed to attack infection, that, lacking what was a normal barrage of infectious enemies to attack, the immune system becomes hyper sensitive, and over reacts, or even begins attacking the bodies own cells (autoimmune diseases, which are becoming rampant).
So, at a certain age, should we all be exposed to a low-level variety of infectious agents in order to give our immune system a good workout, on a similar principle to the flu shot?
Interesting, but I’m not going to voluntêr to be infected by parasites.
In nutrition literature, there is currently extensive discussion of various foods which are purported to cause inflammatory responses. This is viewed as a negative. Should this be reconsidered?
Only one in three kids survives past the age of 5? There were no adults over the age of 52 to test?
There may be less chronic inflammation, but maybe that’s because they don’t live long enough to get it. Or it could be a result of their diets—there probably aren’t a lot of fast food places down there. Or maybe it’s a result of more active lifestyles.
I really detest studies that show correlations, and then run with them on the assumption that correlation = causation. It doesn’t! Sorry, but showing a correlation only identifies an area that warrants more study.
"But sometimes the process goes awry, as when obesity, periodontal disease, stress, or a chronic infection such as herpes continuously stimulates the immune system, causing chronic, low-grade inflammation. This can eventually interfere with the body's healthy tissues, increasing the risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disease. In the West, chronic inflammation is known as a 'silent killer.'"
I was born in 1951. The only vaccination I had was against polio before I joined the Army, IIRC.
Most people usually don't have heart attacks, strokes and cancer until well into middle age or elderly. If they do get those diagnoses before then, there's usually something going on, e.g. genetics, drug abuse, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
It was just the oral attenuated polio virus, MMR, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Pertussis Vaccine, Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids, Adsorbed, For Adult Use (Td), and Haemophilus influenzae type b.
Bingo! We have a winner!
Hope Romney is smart enough to rid his Gov’t of the Michael Taylor’s of Monsanto, the Ed Markey’s and John McQueeg’s who want to control our access to non GMO foods, herbals and supplements!
Plastics, vaccines, antibiotics for no good reason... and then there are all of those coverups by the fda/cdc/etc.
We are in trouble... Agenda 21.. anyone?
I don't know. Which foods and how is the inflammatory response being measured?
My son was born in the spring of 94 and they made me sign off on a hep B shot, which we did not want or need, before they would release him from the hospital.
He was near death at 13 days, again at 21 months cause.. “unknown Virus”,
Puhleeze, chronic sinusitis, ear infections etc till aged 5 when I had to INSIST that they take his adenoids out after countless 105 fevers and trips to ER.
Aged 12 mrsa like infection twice. again “unknown bacteria”
Aged 13 Chronic Neurolgical Migraines.. diagnosed as “stress”, otherwise healthy.
Aged 14 Brain Scan reveals abnormalities from crisis migraine cause unknown.
Aged 15 develops nuerological stress ..wtf?
16 ...one leg longer than the other putting pressure on the spine?
Nope, now he has a torn labrum and that’s the dx du jour... that’s a shoulder injury fyi.
At 14 I quit the flu vaccines etc. He takes what he has to to go to school, none of this extraneous crap. he is on supplements and herbals , takes no drugs ( unless he gets whacked with a bad migraine, which are thankfully very infrequent)
He is now 18, eats only organic/non GMO food, drinks filtered water, sleeps the requisite 8 hours per night and doing well in spite of his alleged physical injuries.
Show me a shot and i will show you a side effect, we have made ourselves chemically sensitive!
More like, we should have constant exposure to low levels of infectious agents, like the more primitive people do. That, and have a few parasites (lower the blood iron levels). AND, eat less food.. We were designed for a much harsher existence.
yes, but how long do they actually live?
they don’t die of degenerative diseases but maybe that is because they die of TB, malaria, bronchitis, croup, diarrhea etc. instead.
and, of course, it’s nice for rich outsiders to shrug off the many babies and children who die at a young age.
vaccines save lives.
You are not old enough to remember the “good old days”.
Measles kills half a million kids every year, and I’ve seen many kids die of measles in Africa and treated a child with post measles encephalitis in the US.
German measles caused many babies to be born retarded, blind, or deaf.
Polio cripples many (and in the pre Salk days two of my friend got it and were left with weak legs).
Whooping cough killed a baby when I was practicing medicine in the USA.
Smallpox was wiped out a few years ago by vaccinating the entire world (and used to kill millions).
We would see one or two cases of HFlu or Pneumonia meningitis a year before we got those vaccines, and some of these kids died or ended up brain damage: now these types of meningitis are rare.
When you read studies like these, they see the “good” points (a strong immune system) from being exposed and recovering from the diseases. What they don’t see are the graveyards of the dead kids...
When I was ~5 months pregnant, a friend had a little girl. When she went in for her 1 month post-partum check, she mentioned to the doctor that she could not wake the baby. The doctor told her to bring in the baby immediately. Since we were military stationed in Europe, arrangements were made to medevac the baby up to Germany for advanced care.
The baby died of meningitis before the medevac plane arrived to take her to Germany.
As a result, I was terrified that something would happen to my son. I checked him all the time, scared that he, too, would get meningitis and die.
Too many people just don’t realize the lifesaving properties of vaccines.
While autoimmune and inflammatory disease may be more prevalent in the industrial world, compared to the Third world, the Third world's infant mortality rate is, as the article states, 3 times higher.
Perhaps those people who would have died in the Third world are those very people who would get the autoimmune diseases we have in the West.
So one might say the parasites, viruses and germs may strengthen us, but one could ALSO say that those same germs just kill off those with faulty immune systems. We manage to keep them alive in the industrial world, so that as they grow their autoimmune and inflammatory disease can manifest themselves.
thereby weakening the genetic stock in our own culture. Consider if we actually have a collapse and things like getting these vaccines becomes an item only for the rich or the regime du jour...a lot of kids will die. Most likely more than in a Third World country because we've had no natural selection going on for decades.
Is there anything that can cure eczema, which will not trigger an OCD episode?
Also you were probably given a smallpox vaccination sometime after your birth if you were born in the States.
The infant mortality rate from CF and black plague will take at least half! But the other half will most likely be immune from black plague, cholera, typhus, typoid fever, and several other otherwise horrible diseases.
The other day there was an article about doing gene testing for 3500 different mutations. It was mentioned folks might want to seek out the babies carrying a CF gene and abort them.
Today's advantage ~ avoiding caring for CF kids, turns into a double disaster in a barbaric future.