Defeating Asthma Series uncovers New Hope for Asthma Management
In this third interview with Rodney Dietert, PhD Cornell University Professor Emeritus, Health Scientist Head of Translational Science + Education for SEED and the Author of the Human Super-Organism How the Microbiome is Revolutionizing the Pursuit of a Healthy Life we learn about:
* Chemicals and disease such as Asthma
World Asthma Foundation: Can you explain the relationship between chemicals and disease?
Dr. Dietert: We’re under attack really from a variety of chemicals. Research reflects disruption of the microbiome, and we know a lot more today.
World Asthma Foundation: It’s obvious that that phthalates, petrochemicals, cosmetics, pesticides, fungicides that can disrupt the gut, correct?
Dr. Dietert: Absolutely. Look at glyphosate. Glyphosate is an antimicrobial. It has antibacterial properties inherent in it, and we’ve distributed widely across the earth. It’s exposing us through the food systems in soil, plants, our food, animals, and us and yet, it’s essentially an antimicrobial. Knowing what we know now, you wouldn’t do that, would never do that. I think that that’s an example of the kind of changes. Ironically, I once was asked to give an educational lecture at a national conference on bisphenol A and the immune system as the target for bisphenol A, particularly in early development.
I presented evidence and suggested that it was an immunotoxic compound. We now know it operates both directly on the immune system but through the microbiome as well. It was ironic because when I finished, I had a very irate pediatrician who told me I really shouldn’t be saying things that I was saying because someone from The New York Times could be there and they might even write about it. My reaction was, “Oh, wow, would that be wonderful? I hope they are.” He was very irate. He thought I was being very irresponsible. You don’t have to go back very many years to where people were really challenging the risk that was present in certain foods and certain chemicals. There’s a lot of things embedded in processed foods that are absolutely disastrous for the microbiome and that’s a huge problem, obviously to weed those out.
World Asthma Foundation: And a very big list. We don’t know all of them right?
Dr. Dietert: We know some of the important ones that are very prevalent, and we know exactly what they target and exactly what diseases are the likely outcomes of that targeting. That should be sufficient for us to make some changes.
World Asthma Foundation: With that, Dr. Dietert, we certainly thank you for your time, all that you do for the microbiome and the community. Good afternoon, and thanks again.
Dr. Dietert: Well, and thank you for all you do with the World Asthma foundation, Bill. Pleasure.