Jaminet’s Corollary to the Ewald Hypothesis

In Tuesday’s comments, Kriss brought up Paul Ewald, father of the “Ewald hypothesis.” (Also brought up by Dennis Mangan here.) Ewald did some of his work in collaboration with Gregory Cochran, who may be familiar to many for his appearances on blogs (notably at Gene Expression) and for his recent book The 10,000-Year Explosion.

In a 1999 Atlantic article, “A New Germ Theory,” Judith Hooper summarizes Ewald’s hypothesis:

Darwinian laws have led Ewald to a new theory: that diseases we have long ascribed to genetic or environmental factors — including some forms of heart disease, cancer, and mental illness — are in many cases actually caused by infections.

Regular readers won’t be surprised to hear that we wholeheartedly endorse the Ewald hypothesis. We believe that nearly all diseases are caused by infections and bad diet. Malnourishing, toxin-rich diets impair immune function and create vulnerability to infectious disease.

The Ewald Hypothesis

Ewald’s reasoning goes as follows. Quotations are from the Atlantic essay.

First, genetic causes of disease are unlikely. Any gene that led to impaired functioning of the human body would be selected against and removed from the genome. Therefore, genetic diseases should have the abundance of random mutations – about 1 in 100,000 people:

As noted, the background mutation rate — the ratate which a gene spontaneously mutates — is typically about one in 50,000 to one in 100,000. Not surprisingly, genetic diseases that are severely fitness-impairing (for example, achondroplastic dwarfism) tend to have roughly the same odds, depending on the gene.

Diseases that are fitness-impairing and reach higher prevalence – and this includes nearly all major diseases – must have a cause other than genetic mutations.

Germs, on the other hand, are plausible candidates as causes for disease. Germs can benefit from doing us harm. At a minimum, they would like to modify human functioning in order to make us better hosts for themselves — by suppressing immune function, for instance. Also, they wish to induce behaviors that help them spread to new hosts – like sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, or sexual promiscuity.

Germs evolve quickly. Gene exchange, and lack of error checking during gene replication, modifies genomes quickly. Short reproductive time scales – on the order of 20 minutes – mean that helpful mutations proliferate rapidly. Big evolutionary changes can occur in a few weeks:

“The time scale is so much shorter and the selective pressures so much more intense [in microbes]. You can get evolutionary change in disease organisms in months or weeks.”

This means that germs quickly optimize their disease characteristics through natural selection. For example, virulence, or the severity of the disease that a pathogen causes, is rapidly optimized.

One factor determining virulence is how easily the organism can spread to a new host. If the organism can spread easily, there’s little cost to harming the current host, and microbes produce severe disease. If it’s hard to spread, on the other hand, organisms will be mild and peaceable toward their hosts. It pays to keep their hosts alive and healthy.

Ewald and his students collected empirical data supporting their explanation for virulence:

The dots on Saunders’s graphs made it plain that cholera strains are virulent in Guatemala, where the water is bad, and mild in Chile, where water quality is good. “The Chilean data show how quickly it can become mild in response to different selective pressures,” Ewald explained…. Strains of the cholera agent isolated from Texas and Louisiana produce such small amounts of toxin that almost no one who is infected with them will come down with cholera.

In the last few decades, evidence has only grown for the infectious origins of most diseases. In 1999, over 80% of serious diseases were known to be caused by pathogens:

Of the top forty fitness-antagonistic diseases on the list, thirty-three are known to be directly infectious and three are indirectly caused by infection; Cochran believes that the others will turn out to be infectious too. The most fitness-antagonistic diseases must be infectious, not genetic, Ewald and Cochran reason, because otherwise their frequency would have sunk to the level of random mutations.

If this analysis were repeated today, the percentage would be still closer to 100%. More cancers are now known to be caused by viruses, and the links between microbes and cardiovascular disease, dementia, and multiple sclerosis are stronger than ever.

I think Ewald and Cochran are correct in asserting that mental and neurological illnesses are especially likely to be infectious in origin. These illnesses tend to have a big impact on number of descendants, supporting the evolutionary argument for an infectious origin. And, due to their dependence on glucose, neurons are unusually susceptible to infections.

Schizophrenia is a good example of a disease that must be infectious in origin:

From the fitness perspective, schizophrenia is a catastrophe. It is estimated that male schizophrenics have roughly half as many offspring as the general population has. Female schizophrenics have roughly 75 percent as many. Schizophrenia should therefore approach the level of a random mutation after many generations.

Ewald and Cochran suggest we need a “Human Germ Project”:

In Ewald and Cochran’s view, evolutionary laws dictate that infection must be a factor in schizophrenia. “They announced they had the gene for schizophrenia, and then it turned out not to be true,” Cochran said one day when I mentioned genetic markers. “I think they found and unfound the gene for depression about six times. Nobody’s found a gene yet for any common mental illness. Maybe instead of the Human Genome Project we should have the Human Germ Project.”

I concur. Medical research should make much bigger investments in detecting, understanding the effects of, and developing treatments for human infections. Many existing lines of research, including many of the “autoimmune” and genetic hypotheses for disease origins, are not panning out, but continue to monopolize funding.

Jaminet’s Corollary

In the last century, sewage and water treatment has cleaned up our water supply and removed sewage and water as a vector for disease transmission. Hygienic methods, such as daily bathing and the use of soap, also tend to inhibit disease transmission.

Just as cholera is an extremely mild constituent of gut flora in hygienic Texas, but creates acute disease in unclean Guatemala, so we can expect that germs that created acute disease in (unclean) 1900 will have evolved to create mild chronic infections in (hygienic) 2011.

This is Jaminet’s corollary to the Ewald hypothesis:  Microbes are evolving away from severe acute disease toward milder chronic disease.

The focus of modern medicine on acute conditions, and its neglect of chronic conditions, adds to the selective pressures on microbes. Any pathogen that creates acute disease is subject to the full arsenal of modern antimicrobial drugs. But pathogens that create mild chronic disease are generally left untreated.

Modern medicine has created a powerful selective pressure on pathogens to generate chronic illnesses that are just mild enough, and that resemble aging closely enough, to elude the attention and antimicrobial arsenal of medical doctors.

Why No Dementia in Kitava?

Staffan Lindeberg in the Kitava Study found no evidence of stroke, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, or acne on Kitava.

Why were these diseases absent? Partly due to the Kitavans’ excellent toxin-free diet, no doubt, but partly also due to an absence of the pathogens that cause these diseases.

Why was there no multiple sclerosis in the Faeroe Islands until British troops were stationed there in World War II? Because the pathogen that causes MS was absent from the islands, until the Brits introduced it.

Why has the incidence of chronic diseases increased tremendously in the last century? Partly due to longer-lived populations, but also, I believe, due to evolution of pathogens toward these diseases.

I predict the incidence of chronic disease will increase further in decades to come; and we will gradually come to appreciate that nearly all forty year olds today are not fully healthy, but are mildly impaired by a collection of chronic infections.

Conclusion

Fifty thousand years ago there were a few hundred thousand humans in the world. Today there are over 6 billion.

If a pathogen today wants to adapt to a specific host, its best bet is to adapt to humans. And within humans, its best way to flourish is to develop a chronic infection that persists for many decades.

The evolutionary arms race is not over. It has simply moved to a new field of battle. And medicine will have to evolve as the microbes do. The microbes are developing a new style of fighting. Medicine needs to shift its focus toward this rising threat of mild chronic diseases.

Leave a comment ?

45 Comments.

  1. Hmm, not that I disagree with the overall hypothesis, but genetic tendencies to disease would not be selected against if they manifest at an age that is late enough not to interfere with successful reproduction. Surely.

  2. Hi Kate,

    There’s evidence that grandparents had a substantial impact on the fitness of their grandchildren in historical times. And the fitness disadvantage from a missing grandparent only needs to be ~0.1% for genes to be efficiently removed from the genome.

  3. Gonçalo Moreira

    I really like this post.
    I’m really hoping that more people wake up to this hypothesis so that it can be better studied and understood. It’s really difficultfor me to accept that,
    even though we already have lots of useful information to battle chronic diseases,
    lots os people are suffering becauseof the ignorance of the majority of health community, with some enlightened and skeptic exceptions.
    Thanks Paul

  4. Interesting post! Certainly fits with some of the evidence of mental illnesses such as depression being caused by viruses/inflammation/etc

  5. Since I´m from Iceland and during the World War II it was occupied with British soldiers too, I decided to see if there was any evidence of MS epidemic. I found this:

    http://www.neurology.org/content/32/2/143.short

  6. Great find, A!

    The Faeroe Islands went from zero MS incidence to an epidemic, with cases concentrated in villages where the British were stationed, whereas Iceland had some MS cases before WWII and doubled its MS incidence after the war.

    It’s further evidence of an infectious etiology.

    Best, Paul

  7. “Fifty thousand years ago there were a few hundred thousand humans in the world. Today there are over 6 billion.”

    This year we will reach 7 billion so I think it’s more accurate to say we are almost 7 billion as “over 6 billion” implies not much over.

    A minor point, but a big difference in reality.

  8. Hi Happy,

    Yes, I didn’t bother to look up the numbers. Thanks for the help.

    The main point though is that if you’re a germ, the big opportunity to grow your population is by learning how to infect humans. Sooner or later, evolution will find ways for germs to fill that environmental niche.

  9. Hi Paul. You wrote:

    “Also, [pathogens] wish to induce behaviors that help them spread to new hosts – like sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, or sexual promiscuity.”

    I realize you are using the words “wish to induce behaviors” in a figurative sense, but nevertheless, you kinda lost me here. I could see sneezing, coughing, and diarrhea resulting from pathogen proliferation, and the fluids produced being vehicles for disease transmission. I’m not sure how sexual promiscuity fits into the picture, though. As I see it, sneezing, coughing, and the loss of bowel control are very different from a desire for sex with multiple partners.

  10. As I’m sure you know, there is also a strong correlation between celiac and schizophrenia. It may be that schizophrenia is partially or mostly caused by dietary toxins, not by products of an infection.

  11. Hi Maggy,

    Well, sexual contact makes it easier for germs to spread. So evolution will positively select for microbes that encourage humans to have more sex.

    And we know that some pathogens already do influence behavior — including in humans, see http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=918.

    So it’s a short (admittedly highly speculative) leap to the idea that pathogens have or will soon evolve ways to encourage human sexual promiscuity.

    I don’t know of any evidence that any microbes are already doing that.

    In AIDS patients we know that promiscuity correlates with pathogen load. It’s been thought that the causation runs from promiscuity to disease — that promiscuous people evolve more virulent pathogens and also pick up more. But what if it also runs the other way — the pathogens encourage the promiscuity?

    Admittedly, sex is very different from sneezing and diarrhea — it’s a lot more fun! But from the pathogen’s point of view they may be more similar than from our point of view.

    Anyway, that was just a passing idea that I threw out for cogitation.

    Hi J.,

    Yes, I’ve written of the influence of wheat on schizophrenia; our book discusses wheat opioids and their role in schizophrenia.

    But diseases are usually multi-causal, or they have a basic cause and then other factors which make them more severe (and more clinically apparent).

    So a combined infectious – food origin cause is not only possible but likely.

    Of course celiac disease promotes infections since the gut is the primary barrier to entry of many pathogens to the body.

    Also celiac is somewhat inherited and celiac in the mother would lead to more infections during crucial developmental periods in the baby … There is a rapidly growing literature on schizophrenia and early infections. Maternal T. gondii, flu, and STD infections promote schizophrenia, e.g.: http://schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.org/content/33/3/741.abstract, http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/5/927, http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/61/8/774.

    Best, Paul

  12. But is there any way to know that humans are any more promiscuous now than they were in the past? I just get nervous with these kinds of speculations because it can then be an even shorter leap for some to see religious or politically sanctioned regulation of human sexuality.

  13. ASFAIK, the “foreign troops bring germs” example falls apart a bit when you see that these diseases brought by foreign troops did not move “inlands” when infected people moved inlands – they usually stay confined to near where the troops are stationed and only move slowly, I think as the new dietary regime moves.

    I think you need both, you need changed dietary regime that compromises the immune system (and other parts of the human system) before germs can you use this “breach” to flourish.

  14. And regarding celiac: This is one of those system breaches that pathogens use. But I don’t think celiac is a genetic “defect”, as it was not selected against before the neolithic, as there wasn’t any cereal-grains in any noticeable amounts in human diet before agriculture. It is the other way around, if you are “celiac–free” it is the same as if you can digest milk – your ancestors were long enough exposed to this type of food so you have some protecting regarding the digestive system.

    Alas, no guarantee regarding other systems…

  15. Hi Maggy,

    I’m not familiar with the literature on sexual activity, but I assume that the invention of birth control made a difference in behavior.

    Hi Tony,

    Definitely a bad diet makes infections both more likely and more severe. Thus our belief that diet is key to overcoming chronic infections.

  16. Some genetic diseases such as sickle cell are the indirect effect of infection. Sickle cell remains in the gene pool because it is protective against malaria so it is selected where malaria is prevalent. Cystic fibrosis may be another example because it protects against typhus. Not just infection but the play between heredity and infection needs to be studied.

  17. Paul,

    What a wonderful counter-point you’ve made in these intellectually impoverished times where ‘everything’ is blamed on or credited to human genes.

  18. Hi Cayte,

    Yes, it’s complicated! Recent human evolution hasn’t reached equilibrium yet and there are some alleles that are helpful when heterozygous but disease-producing when homozygous.

    A lot of work has been done identifying gene variants that increase risk for various diseases. Usually, it’s immune genes that correlate the best. Probably there’s a lot of ways to vary the immune system that help against some pathogens but hurt against others.

    Hi cipher,

    Thanks!

  19. If it’s correct that the toxoplasmosis parasite can cause schizophrenia, then it would be altering sexual behavior thereby. See, e.g.,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis#Possible_link_to_psychiatric_disorders

    Granted, that’s a little indirect.

  20. Paul-

    I wonder if you could do a post about the possible interaction between proteins and polyphenols in berries. There may be reason to believe it greatly reduces their absorption. There are a few studies discussing this and it would be interesting to hear your thoughts. I’d hate to stop having cream or coconut milk with my berries! The studies are posted and discussed in the following thread:

    http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/38927-have-your-blueberries-this-way-without-milk-its-better/

  21. Paul,

    Really facinating post and the Atlantic article gives a lot of good background to the topic. Ewald and Cochran really seem to highlight the need for Vit D without mentioning it specifically, as they touch on the geographic nature of MS infections (Canada has some of the highest rates of MS in the world). What this says to me is the great need for the vitamin in preventing infections of all kinds and not just those that likely casue MS.

    Interesting also is the connection to dental health and infectious diseases, which they mention briefly. Weston Price was studying this issue as far back as the 1920s. It seems some of the anaerobic bacteria found in the areas surrounding root canals might adversly affect the brain, along with the heart and nerves (leading to chronic disease).

    http://www.westonaprice.org/dentistry/1957-root-canal-dangers.html

    The strep bacteria found around root canals has been linked to some mental disorders. Maybe there’s a schizophrenia connection here too?

    http://discovermagazine.com/2010/jun/03-the-insanity-virus/article_view?b_start:int=0&-C=

  22. Very intriguing ideas Paul. I just wonder how much diet and nutrition factor into the picture. My guess is that they are very important and that poor nutrition will lead to greater detrimental effects from infection. The terrain is critical.

  23. Hi Tom,

    Very interesting thought. If you read further down the Wikipedia T. gondii article, they say that T. gondii infection makes women more promiscuous, citing this paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17218612.

    So apparently there is direct evidence.

    T. gondii also radically changes the sex ratio of children, causing mothers to have as many as 2.6 male children for every female child. I wonder how that works.

    Hi Doug,

    I saw that some time back and since we don’t know that it’s beneficial to absorb the antioxidants, I’m not going to stop taking my berries with cream!

    Peter did a recent post on toxicity from berry antioxidants: http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2010/12/anacetrapib-and-phytotoxins.html

    I think these berry compounds do you great service in the gut, where they improve the flora, but are of uncertain or perhaps negative value in the body. So if dairy inhibits absorption and keeps them in the gut, that may be a bonus.

    Hi Robert,

    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. D is extremely important, and so is oral hygiene.

    Thanks for the link, that’s a great intro to the evidence connecting infections in utero to adult schizophrenia.

    Hi Bryan,

    Yes, I agree. The terrain is critical. That’s the object of our book, re-shape the terrain so that chronic diseases can be healed.

    Best, Paul

  24. I had toxo infection when I was 20 and I can say that it might have had an effect on my behavior 🙂 in my 20’s that is 😉

    I also did have a boy baby many years later… so.. maybe.

  25. Hi Ellen,

    There’s been a high and growing male:female ratio in new births in Asia in recent decades. That’s usually attributed to selective abortion of girls, but I wonder if it could be a toxo epidemic?

    They say that toxo prevalence is near 50% now, so it’s a very common infection.

    I was just looking at this paper:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2526142/?tool=pubmed

    “The personality of infected women, by contrast, showed higher warmth and higher superego strength, suggesting that they were more warm hearted, outgoing, conscientious, persistent, and moralistic.”

    Actually sounds attractive!

  26. Hi Paul, autism shares genetic links with Schizophrenia. Maybe these genes can predispose brain to chronic infections.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=schizophrenia-shares-genetic-links-2010-05-10

    You are right, almost all diseases can be linked to infections.
    Even male pattern baldness (considered a pure genetic disease) seems to be linked to the HSV-1
    virus!

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2008/0160509.html

    In the last part there is an experiment in witch an antiviral drug leads to hair regrow in humans.

  27. Hi snaider,

    Thank you, that’s fascinating! I wasn’t aware of the baldness – HSV-1 link. That may be interesting to my brother …

    Best, Paul

  28. Paul and Maggy,

    Paul Ewald has said that deep kissing and sex are probably the two most common modes of transmission of many of the chronic infections the germ theory addresses.

    As to sexual transmission–one need only look to anatomy to see that certain orifices are more anatomically and physiologically suited than others for receptive sex. The vagina, for example, has mucousal protections that an anus lacks; in addition, unlike the vagina,the anus has only a thin layer of cells lining it, making micobial penetration easier. (Frighteningly, more and more young girls are submitting to anal sex because they can’t get pregnant.)

    This is not to say that the vagina can fight off all microbes of coure, for as we know, the germs evolve faster than our defenses against them. Ewald and Cochran deal with this.

    Maggy, let us hope science pays no attention to politics, for when it does, we all lose.

    Oh, and as for a germ perhaps manipulating its host to be more promiscuous, that makes perfect sense. The more hosts, the more reproductically successful and “fit” the microbe.

    We certainly have evidence in other organisms that parasites can hijack sexual machinery–check out the succulina’s manipulation of the male crab.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacculina

    We are only on the very periphery of finding out what might really drive us!

  29. If a fungus can change the behavior of an ant, and toxoplasmosis can make rats unafraid of cat urine, parasites of various types may change the behavior of people.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/aug/18/zombie-carpenter-ant-fungus

  30. One thing i think you are overlooking is the fact that the Faroe diet changed from contact with british troops from one of meat and potatoes to one which invariably incorporated more grains and sugar. Thus it certainly can’t be ignored that the toxins in the diet had an influence on the incidence of MS, if it was not the sole cause.
    To say that all chronic diseases have an infectious factor i think is fairly simplistic, in that it is clear that some diseases have clear toxin triggers that presumably do damage by interrupting enzyme pathways and other bodily functions(e.g. mercury, lead poisoning — tremors, paralysis, etc…). If these heavy metals have clearer that normal toxin-disease correlations, than possibly other toxins such as gluten have deleterious effects not only on such systems such as the immune system (thus making way for infectious agents to do “real” damage), but on actual degradation and oxidation of systems and tissues such as the myelin sheath in MS sufferers.

    I’m not denying that many chronic diseases have infectious components, I just think that you are putting to much emphasis into its importance. The presence of these infections could merely be due to correlation (i.e. sick people have worse immune system, and prone to more infection) , rather than due from causation

  31. Hi Luke,

    Yes, I agree. We don’t say that all diseases are infectious — rather our mantra is that almost all diseases arise from some combination of nutrient deficiencies, toxins, and infections.

    But usually nutrient deficiencies and food toxins make one susceptible to infections, as you say, so they end up with infections that contribute to illness — even if the infection wasn’t the original “cause.”

    Another point is that infections can cause toxicity. Endotoxins are familiar, but also heavy metal poisoning is sometimes caused by infections. Bacterial biofilms, for instance, collect heavy metals, which can over time accumulate and can be released in large amounts when the immune system attacks the biofilm or the germs turn to an infectious state from a parasitic one.

    Disease is not simple, but often the therapeutic steps one needs to take are. That’s what we’re arguing!

    Best, Paul

  32. I am curious if you’ve ever read “Fear of the Invisible”, which is a book about viruses/vaccines/bacteria. I’m about 1/2 way through it so I can’t really comment for sure, but it seems that it might be conflicting with this theory?
    I would love it if you could comment on this!

  33. Hi Sile,

    I haven’t read that, sorry.

  34. I had an idea related to this. The idea as such is not new, but I haven’t seen it stated explicitly and generally before, so I’ll claim it as my own:

    Risnes’s corollary to Ewald’s hypothesis: Microbes that infect humans are evolving towards undetectability.

    Or more simply: Germs are evolving to confuse doctors.

    Once a disease is determined to be infectious, and the microbe is identified, modern medicine is fairly effective at treating it. Not 100% effective, of course, but enough that there must be huge selection pressure for microbes to *appear* to break the link between infection and disease.

    Fortunately for us hosts, methods for detecting microbes and learning how they affect their hosts are evolving pretty quickly too.

  35. Hi Andre,

    I totally agree with your corollary.

    I’m not sure whether the germs have been hiding primarily from the doctors or the immune system – probably from the latter – but since the main detection tests (antibody seropositivity) look at the immune system response, hiding from the latter results in hiding from the former too. This also shields the microbes from detection by Western blot – if doctors can see the protein in blood, then the immune system can too.

    In addition, I definitely think the microbes have evolved away from producing acute symptoms that attract antimicrobial treatment. Instead they produce mild chronic symptoms that people live with and doctors are reluctant to treat. In later life they produce polymicrobial (Russ Farris’s term) chronic diseases which aren’t recognized as infectious.

    I agree, this is the direction medicine needs to go in.

    Great comment!

    Best, Paul

  36. Hi Paul,

    Although I’m quite skeptical with explanation in http://www.whilesciencesleeps.com by Dr Woodrow C. Monte, however he has very strong arguments that methanol contained in processed food causes MS, Alzheimer, and other auto immune diseases. From the free chapter 9 of his book, he explained how food that contained methanol, brought by British troops in 1943 actually caused MS in Faroe island. Although he may not be a Paleo follower, but it seems he highly regards hunther-gatherer diet.

    I’d love if you could comment on this.

    • Hi Anton,

      I agree that processed food is damaging but it would be a big surprise if the main cause is methanol. Methanol is naturally present in fruits, vegetables, and beer, so it’s not a foreign toxin. Most of the foods that contain methanol are associated with better health.

      So I guess I’d have to see convincing evidence that methanol levels in processed foods are much higher than those in natural foods before I’d be concerned. Also, methanol is volatile so it may not linger in processed foods, unless they’re sealed in a can.

      Then he rejects the animal studies which show a relative lack of toxicity: “Because the toxicity of methanol in the human system cannot be properly tested in animals, the results of this research were specious. Searching for the cause of the metabolic anomaly that makes the human relationship to methanol distinct from all laboratory animal models, including primates, has always been muddied by industrial agendas …” But without supportive evidence from animals he doesn’t have strong evidence for toxicity in humans.

      I do like his idea that competition with methanol for ADH could explain the health benefits of alcohol consumption.

      • Hi Paul,

        Possibly a better explanation to your questions can be found in his article at http://dorway.com/doctors-speak-out/aspartame-methanol-the-public-health/.

        Two quotes from this article:
        1. Ethanol, the classic antidote for methanol toxicity, is found in
        natural food sources of methanol at concentrations 5 to 500,000 times
        that of the toxin (Table 1). Ethanol inhibits metabolism of methanol and
        allows the body time for clearance of the toxin through the lungs and
        kidneys (40,46).

        2. There is extreme variation in the human response to acute methanol
        poisoning, the lowest recorded lethal oral dose being 100 mg/kg with one
        individual surviving a dose over ninety times this level (55). Humans,
        due perhaps to the loss of two enzymes during evolution, are more
        sensitive to methanol than any laboratory animal; even the monkey is not
        generally accepted as a suitable animal model (42).

        Based on this, it seems to me that human toxicity is known from accidental poisoning cases, while animal toxicity is from lab.

        It seems that most of the references here are not available for free. If I remember correctly from somewhere in his site or presentations, doses of methanol that accumulates for years eventually can cause those diseases.

        Unfortunately, headaches and brain fog still affects me, so I cannot clearly understand these whole things easily. I have been following PHD about 5 months and Wheldon CAP about 4 months, however I’m still struggling with CFS/MS-like symptoms everyday, so I still try to search for other possible causes, and found his site yesterday.

        • Thanks, Anton. It makes an intriguing theory. But by eating PHD you’re already low in methanol.

          Have you checked (a) thyroid situation, and (b) effect of charcoal/bentonite clay? Both could be clues to addressable causes of fatigue and brain fog.

  37. Thanks.. More info in can also be found in http://thetruthaboutstuff.com/review2.html. His explanation on various aspects of MS makes sense (incl. why white blood cells destroy myelin). He has spent more than 25 years fighting for this, I just wonder what drives him other than passion for truth. As I’m not sure where methanol may come from, I’ll try to avoid any dairy, fermented veggies, or ripe fruits.

    Thyroid was tested few times, and doctors said there’s no problem with it. I took charcoal in the past, but stopped taking it as there was no effect and it was not easy since it had to be at least 3 hours from all antibiotic, meal, vitamin, supplements.

  38. Maybe the Kitava are exposed to infection, but their environment protects them? Their diet is iron and tryptophan deprived, rich in vit A, iodine, omega 3, they have access to plenty of sunshine.

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