The Microbe Is Nothing, The Immune System Is Everything

Louis Pasteur, the famous 19th century microbiologist and chemist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination and pasteurization, was engaged in a heated debate with his contemporaries, Claude Bernard and Antoine Béchamp, over the cause of infectious disease. Pasteur posited that microbes are the primary cause of disease. According to Pasteur the body is a sterile environment whose disease free state is disrupted by the sudden attack of microbes. Each disease is associated with a microbe and therefore antibiotics and vaccines are the best treatment and prevention against disease. Today this is known as the germ theory.


Bernard and Béchamp posited that it is the well nourishment and maintenance of the internal equilibrium or homeostasis that causes health or disease. According to these men the body is not a sterile environment devoid of microbes. Rather it is teeming with countless microbes constantly living in the body. Some microbes live in beneficial symbiotic harmony with the host such as in the gastrointestinal tract without which our digestive process, crucial to transform food into usable energy, would be rendered entirely impotent. Some harmful disease causing microbes survive in small negligible numbers, only making their presence known when the internal equilibrium AKA immune system is compromised or weakened leading to resultant disease. Reasons for this weakening of the immune system include poor diet, lack of nourishment, lack of sleep, over work, exhaustion, enduring illness, genetic weakness etc. This is known as the microzymian theory.


All throughout his life, Pasteur vehemently discredited the opposing side. Eventually on his deathbed he recanted his own theory in favor of Bernard and Bechamp’s.


We are, everywhere and at all times, incessantly bombarded with microbes. No amount of hand sanitizer, washing of hands, and social distancing can change this. Those who maintain vibrant health into their advanced age have developed resilient bodies with powerful immune systems that have been forged into potent guardians on the whetstone of experience and tribulation. Adversity is requisite for supreme accomplishment.


“Bernard was correct. I was wrong. The microbe (germ) is nothing. The terrain (milieu) is everything.” Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)


“Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito,” Virgil


Latin: Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.




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