Just when you were starting to get used to the idea of the ‘microbiome’ & the fact that bacteria contribute many positive things to our health – recent research pushes the concept even further highlighting beneficial functions for viruses; enter the concept of ‘The Virome’.
Virus-phobia has never been higher than the last 12 months – but is an OCD with hygiene a good stance to take outside of acute pandemics? When should we pause on disinfecting every surface we can lather alcohol upon? Can some viruses actually contribute positive benefits to our health that protect us from more virulent strains like Covid-19?
A new study published in the journal Nature confirms that some viruses are indeed able to both support gut immunity and even appear able to replicate the beneficial function of bacterial colonization in the gut.
The new findings are the first strong evidence that viruses in the gastrointestinal tract can help maintain health and heal a damaged gut – thus contributing to host immunity.
Scientists have long known that many viruses are commonly found in healthy children. The new study turns the vira-phobia assumption on its head and hints that these viruses may play a role similar to that of the bacterial microbiome, suggesting they are also playing a key role in normalizing the immune response.
The authors conclude that viral infection of the gut may be helpful once antibiotic treatment has wiped out intestinal bacteria.
This appears to be yet another case of the science finally catching up with the evidence, for clinicians have long observed positive effects of common viral infections like chicken pox, rubella & measles.
In addition to immunological leaps forward following these childhood infections, parents have often reported developmental, linguistic and cognitive leaps following viral infections that are the antithesis of the developmental declines associated with the MMR vaccine.
Nobody wants Covid obviously, but a culture that loses sight of the broader microbial culture in which it operates is a peril to itself.
Add to this the fact that somewhere between 10% and 40% of our own DNA is viral in origin and you start thinking very differently about these free little packets of genetic innovation.
So hug a virus today – tolerance begins at home.
This article is reprinted from the author’s page here and is used with permission.
Dr Jimi Wollumbin has spent the last 22 years in clinical practice and has had the opportunity to research some of the most respected traditional medical systems; these include the Chinese, Tibetan, Indian and Persian traditions. He has also been fortunate enough to work in a series of community health and international aid initiatives. For more info see: https://www.doctorjimi.com