The notion that Alzheimer's, Creutzelf-Jakob, and Mad Cow disease may be caused by the consumption of meat and dairy products has, up to now, been pretty much dismissed by the medical research community but an article written by Lawrence Broxmeyer, M.D. of Med-America Research, is beginning to turn heads.
"The possibility of the age-related re-emergence of food borne Mycobacterium bovis (bovine tuberculosis) as a vector for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD or human Mad Cow Disease) and Mad Cow disease itself is very real," Broxmeyer said.
Broxmeyer's article, "Thinking the Unthinkable: Alzheimer's, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Mad Cow disease - the age-related re-emergence of virulent, food borne, bovine tuberculosis, or losing your mind for the sake of a shake or burger," is a well-documented research study that is just now getting the attention it deserves partly as a result of a report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported last May of an outbreak of CJD linked to the consumption of meat contaminated "with the agent causing" bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) at a New Jersey racetrack between the time frame 1995-2004.
In the opinion of experts, ample justification now exists for considering a similar pathogenesis for Alzheimer's, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and the other spongiform encephalopathies such as Mad Cow disease.
In fact, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Alzheimer's often coexist and at this point are thought to differ merely by time-dependent physical changes. A recent study links up to 13% of all Alzheimer's victims as really having Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
According to Broxmeyer, Bovine tuberculosis, which includes Mycobacterium bovis and M. avium-intracellulare or paratuberculosis, is and has always been the most prevalent threat to the cattle industry, and the USDA reports that between 20% and 40% of US dairy herds are infected with paratuberculosis alone.
The health risk for milk tainted with M. bovis has been known for decades and there was a time not so long ago when ¿tuberculin-tested¿ was printed on every milk container.
"Schliesser stated that meat from tuberculous animals may also constitute a significant risk of infection. At the turn of the 20th century 25% of the many US deaths from TB in adults were caused by M. bovis," Broxmeyer said.
"Dairy products aside, current research shows that when past and present meat consumption are factored in, there is three times the risk of developing Alzheimer's in meat eaters as opposed to vegetarians. The investigation into the causal trail for Creutzfeldt-Jakob, indistinguishable from Alzheimer's except for its shorter, lethal course might have grown cold where it not for Roel's and others who linked mad cow in cattle with M. bovis and related paratuberculosis on clinical, pathologic and epidemiological grounds. The southwest of the UK, the very cradle of British BSE and CJD outbreaks, saw an exponential increase in bovine tuberculosis just prior to its spongiform outbreaks," Broxmeyer said.
"All of this brings up the unthinkable: that Alzheimer's, Cruetzfeldt-Jackob, and Mad Cow disease might just be caused by eating the meat or dairy in consumer products or feed. "It is only appropriate therefore to explore the role of bovine TB and the atypical mycobacteria in Alzheimer's, JCD and Mad Cow disease and develop better serological surveillance for these pathogens," Broxmeyer said.
Broxmeyer believes it's time Congress take a proactive interest in additional research. "In the interest of public health, it's high time our Congressional leaders take an interest in funding additional research."
Broxmeyer, an internist researcher, is currently working in conjunction with several large laboratory research centers in San Francisco and Nebraska on a novel technique to kill mycobacteria presently offering resistance to known antibiotics by a novel technique using the bacteriophage. His ongoing research can be found at http://medamericaresearch.org. He can also be contacted by phone at (718) 746-5793.