If the medical community were honest, it would be forced to admit that the model of disease that catapulted Pasteur to fame has played itself out and is pushing us to disability and death.
Here and there, scientists working within the mainstream framework recognize this. For example, researchers tackling the problem of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) acknowledge that a wide variety of factors increases host susceptibility to TB and TB mortality, including “immune-dysregulation from any cause (including stress, poor living conditions, socioeconomic factors, micronutrient deficiencies, HIV), malnutrition, aberrant or excess host inflammatory response to infection, alcohol and substance abuse, co-morbidities with noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, smoking, and chronic obstructive airways disease, [and] pneumoconiosis.” They suggest, therefore, that it is time to build on “the historical Pasteur-Bechamp debates on the role of the ‘microbe’ vs the ‘host internal milieu’ in disease causation” and invest in “host-directed therapies” (HDTs) that “alter the ‘host terrain’ in favor of the host.” Unfortunately, what HDTs mean to this group of researchers is. . .more pharmaceutical interventions. 41
Realistically, we cannot expect researchers who receive direct or indirect funding from the pharmaceutical industry to suggest commonsense steps for supporting or strengthening the immune system. If Béchamp were around today, chances are that his recommendations would be more sound, emphasizing basics such as high-quality nutrition and excellent sleep. At a deeper level, Cowan also reminds us that the quest for a life of “abundance, joy, and meaning” is equally important and sustaining to our health.