Crohn's disease is Caused by the Atypical Tuberculosis in Your MilkMay 21, 2023
Crohn's Disease is caused by Atypical Tuberculosis from Your Milk
Fifteen years ago, as I started my journey into functional medicine, I was intrigued by Vitamin D and its effects. I read an article in the Journal, Science that indicated you did not put out the peptide cathelicidin, (your natural internal antibiotic that kills viruses and bacteria by puncturing a hole in their cell walls) until your level of Vitamin D was 30. Below 30, no cathelicidin, and TB flourishes. Above thirty, you kill TB. There it was! That's why the age-old method of sending TB patients off to the mountains for "fresh mountain air" was actually to get more UVB radiation and make more D.
At that time, Aurora Health Care's "normal D level" was considered 5-50 ng because that was what we saw in the population.
I called up the Aurora pathologist to request a reconsideration of that level. I argued that "normal" should be considered medically sufficient to make that key ingredient, cathelicidin. Hence, a level above 30. He replied by saying, "Did you know that Crohn's disease is the #1 admission to Children's Hospital?". I thought that was a bit off the wall. I asked why that was relevant. He informed me that Crohn's had increased in incidence dramatically in the last 40 years. He was curious about Crohn's because as a pathologist, he knew that Crohn's is an illness with "granulomas" in the wall of the intestine. Only two other diseases make granulomas, tuberculosis, and sarcoidosis.
He asked, "Are you aware of Johne's disease". I had never heard of Johne's. It is basically atypical tuberculosis in cows. About 70% of dairy herds have at least one cow affected, and its hard to find. You have to culture the bug for over a year for it to be detected. Eventually, it kills the cow, but not before it infects other cows. Here's the rub. Pasteurization does not kill it completely. Some bacteria get through, especially in cheese production.
Now, there are increasing journal publications that are directly addressing the issue and using PCR (Polymerase chain reaction can detect just a few molecules of DNA and amplify it, thus permitting identifying its source.) and statistical methods to finger atypical TB with Crohn's. It's a very difficult illness to treat. Very indolent and persistent. There is virtually no cure. Did you know that one study showed that 100% of lactating women with Crohn's have atypical tuberculosis in their milk?
What's the rational conclusion? Every glass of milk you drink comes from 500 cows as milk is collected in large tanker trucks that mix the output of many cows. You will be drinking milk, eating cheese, yogurt, kefir or sour cream that is not completely sterilized for atypical tuberculosis. Johne's disease is not completely wiped out because we don't have a rigorous enough detection system in Wisconsin, or anywhere. There is broad consensus that some genetic predisposition exists. Vitamin D insufficiency is also clearly associated.
www.What will Work for me. I feel vindicated and frustrated. We have been talking about this topic for decades. The advent of PCR gives even more definitive proof. When will our suffering be enough? The only way to reduce our risk of Crohn's is to ask our elected government to insist on stronger identification of Johne's. PCR on cows would find it. It costs a little money. It saves huge medical costs and life-long misery for those affected. Otherwise, you are playing roulette with every dairy product you consume. It costs $ 37 to PCR test one sample for a cow. Wisconsin has a great lab. Politics makes it too expensive. Please, please take your Vitamin D and keep your level above 30....5000 IU a day will do it 99% of the time.
References: Science, World Jr Gastroenterology, J Immunology, Thera Adv Gastro., USDA, J Food Products, Inflamm Bowel Disease, Eur Resp Journal, MedRxIV, Wisconsin Vet Lab,
1. Crohn's disease is caused by what? Answer: Atypical tuberculosis in the small bowel.
2. The primary source of it is? Answer: Infected dairy products.
3. We have proof that you can't kill regular tuberculosis if your Vitamin D level is below. Answer: 30. The more skin pigment, the more sunlight you need to make sufficient D, African Americans in Wisconsin, not on D, will have levels of 5 ng in the winter and 20 in the summer....never sufficient. They have more Crohn's.
4. How long does it take to culture atypical tuberculosis? Answer: 1 year
5. Wisconsin requires that all its cows be tested for TB? T or F. Answer: False. It's voluntary. Bummer.
You can contact the Wisconsin Johne's Disease Lab and express your dismay by clicking here: Wisconsin Johne's Program. Better yet, contact your elected congressman. Make it an issue.