Latest research evidences attributing viral cause to many chronic ailments and heritable disorders, validate Dr.Hahnemann’s concept of cause of the disease . Discussion also provides scientific dimension to the theory of Chronic Miasms by drawing parallels with role of Junk DNA in the light of Epigenetics.
Keywords: Junk DNA , Miasms ,Virus, Epigenetics, Disease
Evidences from Genetic Research stating cause of Chronic Diseases
Until fairly recently, doctors were at a loss to explain the cause of many chronic ailments and diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, obesity etc. Now, the latest research is coming up with evidence to show that viruses could be the originating cause of more diseases than was previously thought to be the case. Dr Hanan Polansky has recently published his theory entitled “Micro-competition with Foreign DNA and the Origin of Chronic Disease”, where he claims that viruses are the root cause of ailments such as male pattern alopecia (MPA – baldness or receding hairline), obesity, heart disease and cancer. This viral cause of chronic disease has also been identified by the Centre for Complex Infectious Diseases (CCID), who linked viral activity to chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, attention deficit disorder, autism and other behavioural changing diseases.
This new understanding of the role of viruses is also changing perceptions in Genetic research, as 97% of our genome is viral, being made up of the genes from the viruses and bacteria of the epidemic diseases that afflicted our ancestors. This viral element of our genome is collectively known as non-coding or junk DNA and until recently scientists thought that it was inert and had no effect on us. This view was reinforced by experiments on laboratory rats that had sections of their junk DNA removed and it seemed to cause them little apparent ill effect. Now this perception is changing, as scientists are beginning to realize that junk DNA is the cause of serious chronic illness.
The characteristics of viral behaviour
Viruses can have a fairly significant and short-lived, effect on us, as we all know from catching flu from time to time. Our body’s immune system can overcome these viral infections and we normally recover after a few days. However, there are groups of viruses that our body’s immune system does not overcome, and, once these viruses infect someone, they can remain in the body indefinitely. They manage to do this either because they have mutated in such a way that enables them to remain undetected by the immune system, or because they have developed immune systems of their own that are sophisticated enough to overcome attacks from the body’s immune system. These more sophisticated viruses are called complex viruses or stealth viruses, as they often cause no noticeable signs of infection.
Once in the body, these viruses need to feed off something in order to survive. They do this by embedding themselves in a cell, whereupon they begin interfering with the functioning of that cell and hinder its production of chemicals and proteins. This constant interference with the body’s chemical balance progressively weakens the internal organs, such as the gut, the liver, the pancreas, the kidneys, the heart and the genital organs, causing chronic, life-long illness, which can eventually manifest itself with life-threatening symptoms like cancer or heart disease.
Hanan Polansky, in his theory of Micro-Competition with Foreign DNA and the Origin of Chronic Disease, claims that viral activity produces an excess of genetic agents or proteins and these protein imbalances are present in the body several years before the onset of serious symptoms; e.g.
- A high level of C-reactive protein is present many years before there are any manifestations of cardiac disease.
- Low level of serotonin is associated with Depression.
- Low level of dopamine is known to be associated with Parkinson’s disease.
- With cancer, there are protein and chemical imbalances(various tumour markers) that are present long before the development of tumours and polyps.
While scientists have been aware of the presence of these protein imbalances, it is only recent study that has led to an understanding of the viral cause of these imbalances. The interesting part of this topic though, is to compare the parallels it draws with the theory of Dr. Hahnemann that disease produces “toxins” in the body . To my mind, this information started putting Hahnemann’s rather crude observations of disease onto a firmer scientific foundation. Viruses and bacteria (the living entities) were creating protein and chemical imbalances (toxins).
Dr.Hahnemann’s understanding of the cause of disease
Hahnemann dedicated much of his effort towards trying to understand the originating cause of disease, as he quickly became disillusioned with the materialistic approach that many of his contemporary physicians adhered to. According to the traditional school of thought, disease was a material contamination of the body that could be eradicated by the administration of strong doses of medicine, blood-letting or by surgical removal of the infected or diseased part of the body.
Hahnemann questioned this approach as he read about the case of a girl in Glasgow who was bitten by a rabid dog. There, the surgeon treating her immediately cut away the wound in an effort to prevent the disease from taking hold, but his efforts were to no avail, as the symptoms of rabies set in within a month . Similarly, a French physician quickly removed the labia of a woman where a venereal sore had developed, yet the woman went on to develop syphilis.
He noticed, treatments like rubbing ointment of some sort onto the skin sores and rashes of patients, often failed to achieve a cure. While the sores and rashes might disappear temporarily, they would invariably resurface later in life, often accompanied by more complex symptoms, such as asthma and other respiratory disorders.
From such observations Hahnemann deduced that venereal sores and the like were not the root cause of disease, but were merely the symptoms of disease. The real disease was a deeper internal malady, which had already permeated the entire body, before any external symptoms appeared on the skin. In Hahnemann’s opinion, any attempt to remove the sore or rash from the skin by surgery was pointless as it failed to affect a true and proper cure of the internal malady that had caused the sore.
Hahnemann was equally scornful of the medications that physicians administered to their patients, as he realized that these crude medications would cause the disease to “transform”, often reappearing in a stronger form than before. In his words “the same disease assumed various forms and [that] new diseases were being added by the use of improper, injurious medicines”. Astutely, Hahnemann deduced that a disease must be a living entity, something with a “life force” – with a survival instinct – much like our own. Hahnemann felt that the source of disease was so illusive that it could not have a material source. He noted correctly how easily disease could transform itself (mutate), so that the same disease could produce different symptoms in different patients. Along with the ability to transform itself, disease was also so contagious that it could be carried on the merest waft of air. These traits made him believe that disease had to have some spirit-like qualities.
To my mind, Hahnemann’s observations of disease sounded exactly like the behaviour of viruses and bacteria, which we now know mutate and transform themselves with incredible rapidity. Basic observations described by Dr.Hahnemann 200 years ago, are now being validated as evidence is now emerging from medical research.
Epigenetics – Scientific Approach to Miasms
Nearly 200 years ago, Dr.Hahnemann found out that the effect of many diseases like Scabies, Gonorrhea and Syphilis can be present even after the acute infection is treated. He found out that this effect can be present in future generations also without the actual infection being acquired. He called this trans-generational effect manifested in the form of ‘disease predispositions’ as ‘Miasms’. The effect in the same generation was called ‘Acquired Miasm’ and the effect that was present in future generations was called ‘Inherited Miasm’.
Epigenetics is a new stream of science which studies effect of environmental influences on our genetic phenotype and heritable effects of what we do and experience in this life time on our future generations and has strong parallels with Hahnemann’s theory of chronic miasms.
Genes carry the blueprints to make proteins in the cell. The DNA sequence of a gene is transcribed into RNA, which is then translated into the sequence of a protein. Every cell in the body has the same genetic information; what makes cells, tissues and organs different is that different sets of genes are turned on or expressed. Conventionally it was held that only two percent of our DNA – via RNA – codes for proteins until very recently. Now scientists are discovering that some of the junk DNA switches on RNA that may do the work of proteins and interact with other genetic material.
Science of Epigenetics through various research studies proposes that there exists control system of ‘switches’ that turn genes on or off – and suggests that various factors like diet, stress , environment, toxins and family bonds etc. – can control these switches and thus modify our genetic code and its expression causing heritable effects in humans.
While the theories put forward by the CCID and by Hanan Polansky all discuss viral links to chronic disease, neither of them venture any opinion as to how those viruses come to be in a patient’s body. However, many of the diseases that are now being attributed with a viral cause are also hereditary, so there had to be a genetic element to viruses too.
However, during the course of 2005 and 2006 several studies linking junk DNA to chronic disease were published, with a key one being a research paper by Andrew Mc Callion at the Johns Hopkins Medical Centre in the USA. Recent research shows that this behavioural link extends to junk DNA too – a paper was published on this topic in 2005 by Larry Young and Elizabeth Hammock.
In “Genome – The Autobiography of a Species”, Dr. Matt Ridley explains how ninety-seven percent of our genome is not made up of “true” genes, but of “menageries of strange entities called pseudo genes, retropseudogenes, satellites, minisatellites, transposons (and) retrotransposons” . All of these genetic parasites, collectively known as junk DNA, are mutated forms of viruses and bacteria and their presence in the DNA is the imprint of the epidemic diseases, such as plague, measles, smallpox, typhus, influenza, syphilis, chicken pox and others, that afflicted our ancestors.
These statements tie in exactly with what Hahnemann had written about chronic disease, as he claimed that the chronic diseases affecting most of the world’s population are hereditary and are caused by the transformations of diseases that have been afflicting mankind since the beginning of time thinking it was inert and had no effect on us. Many diseases that are generally thought to be due to environmental conditions, occupation, diet or pure chances are now beginning to be recognized as the side-effects of chronic infections with little known viruses or bacteria.
This area of scientific research is still in the embryonic stage and there is still a lot more information locked away in our junk DNA that needs to be discovered by further research, but every single piece of research evidence that emerges corroborates Samuel Hahnemann’s basic principles of disease.
- Polansky, H. – “Micro-Competition with Foreign DNA and the Origin of Chronic Disease” (2003)
- Ridley, M. – “Genome – The Autobiography of a Species” (1999), Fourth Estate, p 124.
- Hahnemann’s, “The Chronic Diseases , their Peculiar Nature and their Homoeopathic Cure”
- Hahnemann’s., “Organon of the Medicine”
- 6. Anway MD, Cupp AS, Uzumcu M, Skinner MK 2005 “Epigenetic transgenerational actions of endocrine disruptors and male fertility”. Science 308:1466–1469
- R.A. Waterland, R.A. Jirtle, “Transposable elements: targets for early nutritional effects on epigenetic gene regulation”. Mol Cell Biol, 23:5293-300, 2003.
Dr Mansi Arya R&D Officer – SBL Pvt. Ltd.
Consultant – SBL Clinic
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