MAP the Cause of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

MAP the Cause of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Mycobacteria is a genus of bacteria that causes serious diseases in mammals (tuberculosis and leprosy are examples of Mycobacteria.) A type of Mycobacteria called Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis is a pathogenic bacteria found in the gut of ruminant animals like cows and causes Johne’s disease (paratuberculosis) in cattle. 1

Paratuberculosis causes diarrhea and wasting in the cattle and causes the cows to develop inflammatory bowel disease. Treatment of paratuberculosis in cattle is limited because of the cost of using human treatments for Mycobacterial infection. Usually the most cost effective measure is to destroy the infected herd. 2

MAP is the primary cause of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease in humans. One of the deciding factors in whether anyone succumbs to ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease seems to be the amount of MAP that that person is exposed to. Lesser exposure to MAP leads to ulcerative colitis, where greater exposure to MAP causes Crohn’s disease. 3 4 5 6

MAP has recently been discovered as a zoological disease (a disease that can be transferred from animals to humans or vice versa.) MAP can be transferred to humans when contact with infected cattle feces occurs, drinking improperly treated farm runoff water, ingesting beef, or ingesting milk and dairy products from infected cows. There are case studies identifying farmers with MAP after contact with aerosolized cow feces. MAP infections also originate from cattle farm runoff encountering municipal drinking water. MAP is a very resistant bacterium that can survive up to nine months in mud, a year in cow manure, and up to two years in water. Standard industrial water treatment such as filtration systems and chlorination may prove to be an ineffective treatment against eliminating MAP. 7 8 9 10

MAP also has been discovered in beef, but the levels are lower than other infection routes if the meat is prepared properly. Cow muscle tissue does not contain many bacteria, but if the meat is not processed and prepared properly, feces can encounter the meat and infect it with MAP. MAP can also survive standard cooking temperatures, but it can be eliminated at prolonged temperatures around 165F. MAP also appears to be resistant to nitrates and smoke as well. 11 12 13 14

Scientific literature indicates that humans are commonly exposed to MAP from the ingestion of milk and other dairy products. The proposed reason is that the bacteria in milk are more invasive and populous than other routes of exposure. MAP is protected by the higher fat content of some dairy products. Fat globules protect MAP from stomach acid so that it can survive in greater numbers allowing it reaches the intestines. Raw dairy has a greater concentration of MAP bacteria than properly pasteurized dairy. The correlation between this data is unknown though because MAP can survive pasteurization. Research is mixed about if pasteurized milk and dairy products are safer and contain less MAP then if they are raw. I suggest anyone who is drinking dairy to consume pasture raised, vat pasteurized milk, for the healthiest way possible of trying to avoid MAP. Finally, MAP can also survive freezing (ice cream) for up to a year. 15

If you have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, I would avoid all dairy products and most beef products except for well-done steak until the infection is reduced. If you want to learn about fighting the bacterium, I suggest you pick up a copy of my book, Fix Your Gut, and contact me for coaching.

14 Comments
  1. There is no scientific evidence for or against the fact that MAP causes Crohns disease in humans. It would be a good idea to not make these statements when scientific literature does not support the statements you are making. It is true that a person has a possible chance of acquiring Crohns if they are already genetically susceptible to Crohns. Not because of MAP. Here are some sources if you are interested in why I disagree with your statements you make against the beef industry as a whole.
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/1040841X.2010.532480
    http://www.johnes.org/zoonotic/index.html

  2. Does wild oregano kill Mac in high doses?

  3. Is it safe to consume grass fed beef, or would that be an issue as well? And what about grass fed butter and whey protein?

    • Grass fed beef is also contaminated with MAP. Butter would be one of the worse products since MAP loves to live in fat. Whey protein “might” be ok. It is best to avoid it if you have UC and CD, I know beef is delicious but it is best to give it up.

  4. I have researched this extensively and am part of an international group that is raising money for John Hermon-taylors MAP vaccine. According to several clinical studies MAP exists only in Crohns patients. UC if caused by MAP is actually Crohns with the exception of the rare occurrence that MAP exacerbates UC and overlays it – in which case you still have UC even after being treated for MAP. SO, I say all of this because you seem to be saying that UC is caused by MAP, which by my studies isn’t the case. Can you explain your opinion and how it differs from Dr. John Hermon-Taylor?

    • MAP infection and possible coinfections are the cause of both UC and CD. UC is when the MAP infection stays in the gut. CD is a systemic infection of MAP. I know people in my life personally that have UC that were able to successfully go into remission dealing with MAP overgrowth and avoiding beef products. I believe that most people with CD and UC have a genetic weakness to the bacteria, and are likely prone to an overgrowth of the bacteria.

      We see in a Klebsiella infection for example is the cause of separate diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, SIBO, pneumonia, and ankylosing spondylitis it all depends on where the infection of the bacteria takes place.

      The same could be same of MAP. Does it stay in the intestines or infect the body? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3031217/

    • UC girl, are you still active in CMV? Wondering who you are and where you live.

  5. I started treatment for this MAP bacterium last fall. I had already discovered my bowel/ colon problems are also triggered by other bugs… HHV6, clostridia botulinum, mycoplasma, and cholera / the latent bacteria from a live vaccine .

    After correcting bad diarrhea treating for th other bugs I was still having pencil thin and painful bowel movements at that time. Using the homeopathic nosode of Johneinum it totally stopped and my bowel formation has been full and normal since.. { with return to diarrhea recently while I am treating for this mycoplasma bacteria / the clostridia and cholera bacteria have flarred }

    I bought the homeopathic here http://www.helios.co.uk They ship via regular mail quickly into canada…

    • Hello Nancy, Great info! That is really great to know that you were able to come out of Crohn’s using Johneinum. Can you please share, what was the daily dosage for your condition? Do you know if there any Homeopathic doctors who are well versed with Johneinum? Congratulations on your recovery! I pray that everyone find this remedy and get their life back.

  6. Interesting, there’s also Mycobacterium Vaccae from that genus that seems beneficial:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycobacterium_vaccae
    And when you use antibiotics / antimicrobials that are effective against mycobacteria, I guess the good goes with the bad.

    • I agree, and you have beneficial Mycobacterium in your gut. Not enough information about this soil based strain yet, but it could be promising.

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