Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

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  • SusannahSoilet
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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

Hi everyone,

Feel this could be a very useful topic. The video was interesting, but focusing on the wrong end to my view!

I have background as a livestock farmer, and am currently studying soil biology, with a special interest in the links between soil health and human health.

Dr Daphne Miller, Michael Pollan and Sandor Katz are amongst the keen proponents of a 'live' diet and exposure to plenty of micro-organisms (symbionts) as being conducive to a strong immune system.

Some lacto bacilli have been demonstrated to counter absorption of environmental toxins (aflatoxins, pesticides and heavy metals)in human diets as well as farm animals, and a trial in Kenya of probiotic yogurt in community kitchens is proposed in conjunction with Uni of Western Ontario (Gregor Reid - Project # 0397-01).

As with farms, where manures from animals that have consumed silage is spread on the land, in turn inoculating the next crop with the necessary lactic bacteria, so ontransferring this to human populations that could have their diet enhanced with 'beneficial' microbes, these will be excreted and could have a positive impact on the soil biota.

Yogurt may be easier to promote widely than Kimchi! (we now make both in this house)

Susannah Batstone
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

@Keith: Please read the article Marijn posted, that one makes some sense in regards to what you are talking about (contrary to what you wrote above about waste water treatment plants etc... you are mixing up stuff).

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  • KeithBell
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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?



This is why water-based sanitation is the problem, not the solution. The activated sludge process utilized in wastewater treatment plants, guided by obsolete law, purposely multiplies ciliate protozoans to lower bacterial counts, making sludge biosolids and effluent legal for disposal on land and back into the water supply. These voracious protozoans likely consume our good intestinal bacteria. This allows opportunistic fungal overgrowth seen in every major disease, physical and mental illness. This is why I see diabetes as a sanitation issue as diabetes is increasingly found to be caused by gut dysbiosis (imbalanced flora).

The above Ted talk gives some focus to ineffective vaccination related to poor sanitation. Note: there are no comprehensive studies about potential collateral damage to flora by vaccination.

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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

I was actually talking about the health benefits of the acidic foodstuff.

Concerning Terra Preta... as far as I know its about the entire further fermentation process that both mobilizes nutrients and probably kills some pathogens. But I guess the biggest benefit from a user point of view is probably that in acidic conditions much less NH4 is degassing, which is the main source of smell.

Disposal seems to be no problem either as it is turned into organic fertilizer (with the addition of biochar)... organic material rich tropical soils are quite acidic anyways so that seems less of a problem.

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  • joeturner
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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

OK, I'll rephrase: the benefit to sanitation of using a waste product from an acidic foodstuff is most likely that the pathogens are killed by the pH. There may also be side benefits as you state above.

I agree there are cultural problems too. And I wonder how strong the acidic foodstuffs actually are and how much you'd need (say) for a family to use in their own toilet.

That said, if one was able to show people how to produce their own acidic material, for example by using local waste plants, it is conceivable that they might be able to produce their own functioning chemical toilet. But then you might create another problem in that disposal of the low pH toilet contents.

But then based on the same reasoning, one might be able to use locally available foods and/or byproducts that are a) highly sodic b) high pH c) strongly alcoholic... and find that they have a similarly useful effect on pathogen survival.

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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

Well it seems to be a bit more complicated than just "killing the pathogens" (the antibiotics are also given in pretty low concentrations to animals), but yes in general I agree. However alcohol containing local foods have their own set of problems and often traditional restrictions. Besides the above mentioned problem that most societies don't consider it appropriate for children.

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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

JKMakowka wrote:
See the great example by Chris above, although it also seems to involve yeast alcohol fermentation to some extend.


I'm not sure that the exact process matters, if, as I suspect it is the acid that is thought to kill the pathogens. Hence any local process that creates an acidic foodstuff would be appropriate.

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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

joeturner wrote: I wonder how many indigenous foods there are which involve acidification. It might not even be necessary to persuade people to change their diet.


See the great example by Chris above, although it also seems to involve yeast alcohol fermentation to some extend.

Here in Uganda milk is fermented to a sort of butter "ghee" and a very sour beer is made from millet, which I suspect is quite similar to the casava beer described above.

However due to the alcohol content it is probably not something suitable for children.

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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

Hi Kris,

I like this holistic, integrated thinking about how to keep people healthy.

Here in the Amazon (home of Terra Preta), I think the answer is Manioc Beer (=Chicha de Yuca, Masato), which is also a lactic acid process. I suspect the original Terra Preta was likely made (at least in part) by covering feces with the solids strained out of this fermented drink, which is still the main pillar of the diet for most Amazonian indigenous people. To make this, manioc is cooked and chewed, plus a microbe culture from a previous batch is usually added.

I look forward to reading these links.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • Marijn Zandee
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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

Dear Julius,

Here is an article from about 6 months ago about the relative new branch of medical science that looks into the relation between intestinal bacterial flora and human health.


www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-...?pagewanted=all&_r=0

If I remember correctly the research found a correlation between diets containing fermented vegetables (and vegetables in general) and bacterial cultures in peoples feces that they think are a sign of health.

Regards

Marijn
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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

I actually prefer Korean Kimchi ;)

According to the "pig" data it seems to be the effect of certain organic acids, especially lactic acid. Sauerkraut probably has some additional "pro-biotic" effects and I remember reading that drinking a lot of Sauerkraut juice is a traditional remedy against worms...

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Re: Environmental enteropathy: Acidification as a potential remedy from veterinary science?

I wonder how many indigenous foods there are which involve acidification. It might not even be necessary to persuade people to change their diet.

Given that silage produces acid, I also wonder if an easier method might just be to have people produce it using non-food or waste materials. Maybe that is too much effort for too little gain.

This is all assuming that it is the acid in the sauerkraut which is killing the pathogens and that other acids produced in slightly different processes would have the same effect.

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