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An article in Lancet shows that feeding normal E. Coli bacteria to people with ulcerative colitis is at least as effective as the conventional treatment for ulcerative colitis. Giving normal E. Coli to a person with ulcerative colitis, causes the normal E. Coli to crowd out the abnormal E. Coli that produce the alpha hemolysin. There are now several studies showing that two antibiotics, metronidazole and Cipro that will control and often cure ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

The lead article in the British medical journal, Lancet, (August 21, 1999), in effect states that most gastroenterologists will not prescribe new treatments until everyone else prescribes them and that I am correct when I treat Crohn's disease with antibiotics. Crohn's disease is bloody diarrhea and intestinal ulcers. Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialize in diseases of the stomach and intestines.

In 1988, I started to prescribe antibiotics for my patients with stomach ulcers and received numerous calls and letters of complaint from gastroenterologists. Now, 12 years later, they are just starting to cure stomach ulcers. For the last 5 years I have been treating my patients with Crohn's disease with two antibiotics called Cipro and metronidazole and curing some. I still receive letters from gastroenterologists who think that antibiotics are ineffective in treating Crohn's disease.

Two years ago, researchers in Paris reported that Crohn's disease may be caused by E. Coli, a germ that is normally found in healthy intestines. And that this bacteria is different from all other E. Coli bacteria because it produces an alpha hemolysin that punches holes in the intestines to cause ulcers and bloody diarrhea. Then a team of researchers in Tokyo showed that the alpha hemolysin can be extracted from E. Coli and when given to mice, cause Crohn's disease.

Controversy over whether bacteria cause Crohn's disease exists because most gastroenterologists don't know how to interpret laboratory tests. When a doctor sends a stool specimen to a laboratory to look for germs, a technician applies a sterile Q tip to the stool and smears it all over a round 6 inch culture plate. The next morning, the technician holds the plate up to light and looks for circular colonies each of which represent a different germ. If the technician sees an E. Coli bacterial colony, he throws it away because he thinks that all E. Coli belong in everyone's intestines. However, the E.Coli that causes Crohn's disease looks like all other E. Coli, and the technician reports that there are no abnormal bacteria because he sees only what appears to be an E. Coli bacteria that is found in everyone's intestines. See report #G213.

Lancet, August 21, 1999 pages 635 to 639.

Checked 8/9/05

June 1st, 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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