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A New Look At TB: Infectious Bacillus Or Iron Poisoning?

From the Weston A Price Foundation, an organization that promotes evidenced based diets and nutrition.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 24, 2024/PRNewswire:

World TB Day, March 24, commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus believed to cause tuberculosis (TB). Koch argued that TB is a contagious disease, spreading from one person to the next through the air. Based on the notion that TB is caused by a contagious bacterium, conventional treatment for TB involves vaccination and administration of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. New information requires the scientific community to reexamine the reigning theories about tuberculosis.

 The incidence of TB has declined dramatically since the 19th century, especially in the West; but the disease still kills an estimated 3,000 people per day, mostly in lower-income countries.

 “We propose looking elsewhere for the cause of this terrible illness,” says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. “The symptoms of TB are identical to those of a disease called siderosis, which is poisoning by toxic iron fumes.” Siderosis occurs most frequently today in welders.

 Symptoms of both TB and siderosis include breathlessness, coughing (including coughing up blood); decreased lung function; miliary (millet-seed-like) lesions in the lungs; and darkening of the eyes due to iron deposits, a unique symptom which occasionally occurs in both siderosis and TB.

 Robert Koch was able to grow the TB bacillus only on ox blood or occasionally on meat, which proves what we know about the TB bacillus today, that it is an iron-loving organism. “These facts about the TB bacillus beg the question: is the organism the cause of TB or the therapy, appearing in the body when excess iron needs clearing?” asks Fallon Morell.

 During the industrial age, exposure to iron fumes was widespread, especially in trench warfare. TB was a huge problem in the Crimean War, for example, with iron cannons, iron hand grenades, iron gun barrels, iron cookware, all of which release toxic iron oxide when heated, and coal smoke (which is high in iron); in trench warfare, the heavy pollutant would fall into the trenches and linger. Soldiers living in these trenches suffered massively from TB.

In 1790, a new invention not only increased exposure to iron oxide but also brought it into the drawing room: the cast iron stove. With its large surface area, the cast iron stove released large amounts of iron oxide, which exposed not only the cooks and maids in unventilated basements, but also the head of the household and his family enjoying the comfort of a warm room upstairs. In addition, cast iron parlor stoves dedicated to heating the living areas became popular.

 As stainless steel and aluminum gradually replaced cast iron in stoves, furnaces and industrial equipment—and as oil and natural gas replaced coal—household and workplace exposure to iron oxide gradually declined. Today, TB deaths occur mainly in countries or regions where cast iron stoves and cookware (pots and griddles) are still widely used, often in unventilated hovels, and where iron mining and iron works (typically with little concern for safety) are common. In these areas, coal is often still used in power plants and domestic settings.

 “If the cause of TB is toxic exposure to iron fumes, it makes little sense to treat the disease with vaccinations and antibiotics,” says Fallon Morell. “Rather, appropriate treatment modalities may include chelating agents such as DSMO and lactoferrin, plus removal from exposure to sources of ferrous oxide. It’s time to take a new look at how we treat this tragic disease.”


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