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Researchers at St. George's Hospital Medical School in London report that they have found Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis bacteria in 92 percent of patients with Crohn's disease, but in only 26 percent of patients in a control group.

When a person has intestinal cramping, bloody diarrhea and ulcers in the colon or intestines, doctors look for cancers, infections and any other known cause. When they can't find a cause, they tell the patient that he has Crohn's disease and that the disease is caused by the patient's own immunity that punches holes in his intestines.

Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis is found in two percent of the milk sold to the public. In the United States, milk must be pasteurized before it can be sold. Pasteurizing means that the milk is flash heated for 15 seconds. However, 15 seconds is not long enough to kill Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis; it takes at least 50 seconds of heating to kill it. In England, all milk must be flash-heated for 50 seonds to kill MAP.

A second discovery by the team of researchers in England is that a very large percentage of people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome were also found to be infected with MAP. Irritable Bowel Syndrome means that a person has alternating constipation and diarrhea along with cramping, and doctors can't find a cause. Previous research shows that MAP can damage the nerves inside the intestines of certain animals. A recent study from Sweden shows that people with Irritable Bowel syndrome also have inflamed gut nerves. So MAP may cause both Crohn's disease and some cases of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

In England, patients with Crohn's disease are diagnosed as having an infection with MAP and are treated with antibiotics and many patients are cured. In the United Sates, patients with Crohn's disease are diagnosed as having an autoimmune disease in which their own immunities attack their own intestinal linings, so they are treated with poisons called immune suppressants. Some get better temporarily, none are cured and most have their lives shortened by treatments for auto immune diseases, when the treatment may be based on an incorrect theory of the cause.

Today, more than 5 percent of Americans suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and the majority of these people will continue to suffer these symptoms for the rest of their lives, even though doctors in England feel that both Crohn's disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are infectious diseases that may be cured by taking antibiotics. Also see report #G213.

Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2003, Vol 41, Iss 2, pp 2915-2923.

Checked 8/9/05

May 30th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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