In our July issue of Live Pain Free®, Jesse Cannone interviewed Dr. Zach Bush, MD, on the importance of the microbiome for immune system support.
This full concept of macroimmunity was explored so well in this interview and guest article we decided with Dr. Zach’s permission and support to publish this interview and article in their entirety to the world. Please watch, read, then share this important information with those you love!
Microbiome: The Largest Revolution in Modern Science
Zach Bush, MD
It sits alongside a few other paradigm shifting breakthroughs in science history, and forces a change in perspective as wide reaching as Galileo’s revelation, 400 years ago, that Earth is not at the center of the universe.
In the case of the microbiome, we have in the last decade discovered that the human cell is not at the center of human health, but instead, it is the vast ecosystem of microbial life that lives in and around us that dictates human health and disease.
These discoveries can revolutionize our understanding of who we are, how we got here, and where we are going. Today, we are at a tipping point. We can walk into a new reality in which we find a co-creative identity with nature, or we can continue on the destructive, consumptive path toward extinction.
Not long ago, we crudely believed that the human immune system sterilized our bodies from foreign invaders — that human physiology and human life only happens when we beat back nature. Through the introduction of genomic sequencing in recent research, we now understand the opposite to be true: the healthy immune system is not a war machine, but instead an amazing array of checks and balances that maintains a dynamic relationship with diversity.
Our bodies are a product of the vast ecosystem within us. Hundreds of thousands of species of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and even parasites are the hosts to human health. They exist within and around us, directly supporting every organ system, from gut to brain. Through our daily lives we interact with a sea of life in the air we breathe, water we drink and food we consume.
Human cells are a minority within our body. We are more than 90% microbiome by cellular population, and more than 90% of the enzymatic and energetic work done in our body is provided for by bacteria and fungi. Furthermore, this vast ecosystem communicates with our human cells through the genetic information stream that are the viruses. There are more than 10 billion different viruses (packets of genetic information from your environment) in your body right now. Every cell in your body decides what viral genetic updates are necessary to optimize the adaptation and improved function of your body. You are the result of viruses! More than 50% of the 20,000 human genes that you inherited from mom and dad were inserted into the mammalian genome by viruses. More than 8% of your genes were inserted by the much-vilified retro viruses (the class of viruses that include HIV).
Since our origin, our bodies have always been capable of finding homeostasis with any new virus, and yet we’ve created a misperception in the common narrative that viruses are villains that travel by airplane and other forms of human technology to destroy our species. Not only have viruses been traveling globally long before humans existed, they are not our enemy. Without their critical updates to the genomics of the planet, we would not have life on Earth.
Our immune system is a true global phenomenon. Without this garden within us, we would fail to live in a connected, nutritive state of biology.
The communication network of bacteria and fungi within the microbiome is the element of nature that creates our self-identity at the cellular level. Our worldview is cared for and nurtured by the rich organic garden in and around our bodies — it’s what nurses our human cells into their full potential. When we alter this relationship to the microbiome, we alter our relationship with nature and create imbalance.
Without a strong communication network in the microbiome, the tight junctions that hold our gut lining, blood brain barrier and kidney tubules together become weakened. These critical boundaries begin to leak, and we lose our self-identity at the cellular level. As a result, inflammation rises in our biology and fears and psychological stress develop on the macro level. With the loss of diversity in our microbiome, we lose our boundaries and we succumb to a fight-or-flight relationship to our environment and we become more prone to disease.
I would argue we do the same at the sociological level; with a loss of human diversity and nature in our lives, we become insecure about our identity and purpose, and we wage war against one another and our nature.
There is no space for dogma in the world of science.
One thing that is inevitable in life is change. And yet, it’s the one thing we humans resist. Resistance to change leads to pain, creating friction between our flow state and our daily reality. Many of us fear change and prefer to sit in a comfortable space of firmly-held belief. We fear the grieving process that is necessitated by radical changes in perspective. To protect ourselves against change, we create dogma – a series of fixed beliefs – as a means to reassure our human minds that we retain control, stability, and safety. Yet dogma is in direct opposition to our ever-evolving universe. When we cling to belief, we are left behind by a changing planet.
Since ancient Greece, our highest form of science has always come through dialogue. Science is not a body of knowledge, but rather a process of inquiry. There aren’t scientific discoveries, but rather scientific observations that inform the next question. It’s a continuous process and evolution, and we are never done discovering. Only through different perspectives can we ask new questions, discover new truths, pioneer revolutionary innovations and begin to heal our peoples and planet.
Ultimately, consciousness is the result of a coherent ecosystem working in concert with the symphony of life. Whether it be today’s pandemic or the next, any pandemic is a clear signal that we’ve altered the relationship between our species and our planet. If we stop vilifying nature, and begin an awe-inspiring observation of the nature within and around us, we will discover a path for a new future, one that is founded in biodiversity and adaptation rather than fear and dogma.
Zach Bush, MD is a renowned, multi-disciplinary physician of internal medicine, endocrinology, hospice care and internationally recognized educator on the microbiome as it relates to human health, soil health, food systems and a regenerative future. Visit and learn more at zachbushmd.com.
Jesse Cannone’s interview with Dr. Zach and Dr. Zach’s article first appeared in the July 2021 issue of Live Pain Free®. Subscribers get instant access to hundreds of archived issues, video and audio interviews with top natural health and pain relief experts from around the world, and numerous special bonuses. To learn more and start a no-risk subscription, visit livepainfree.com.