Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis the Cause of Crohn’s and UC

Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis the Cause of Crohn's and UC

Mycobacteria is a genus of Actinobacteria that causes serious diseases in mammals (tuberculosis and leprosy are examples of Mycobacteria). A species of Mycobacteria named Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) is a pathogenic bacteria found in the gut of ruminant animals like cows and causes Johne’s disease (paratuberculosis) in cattle.1 2 3 4 5 6

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.7 8 9 10 11 12

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. Lesser exposure to MAP leads to ulcerative colitis, where greater exposure to MAP causes Crohn’s disease.13 14 15 16 17 18

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.19 20 21 22 23 24

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.25 26 27 4 29 30

Scientific literature indicates that humans are commonly exposed to Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis from the ingestion of milk and other dairy products like kefir and yogurt. 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, Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis can also survive freezing (ice cream) for up to a year.31 32 33 4 35 36

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.

  1. Hello! Two years of avoiding and supplementing (by Your book also) etc. Now im wondering what You may think about Celadrin, a supplement for joint and more.
    Its derived from bovine fat (as I read), a combination of (esterified) fatty acids. Im avoiding all milk products, even gelatine capsules (if there is not mentioned source). Lately I was thinking to try Celadrin, but the bovine factor is question. Is it too paranoid?

  2. Wondering why I am ok with eating beef but have adverse reactions to collagen derived from beef… any insight would be appreciated

  3. 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.


      The study you linked does mention: “There has been no definitive evidence for or
      against this theory thus far.”

      That being said the whole study discusses evidence for and or against MAP. It concludes:

      “MAP has been recovered from tissue and blood
      samples of patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, a
      gastrointestinal inflammatory bowel disease, leading
      to speculation of an etiological role of MAP in Crohn’s

      “MAP has been found to be transmitted through the raw milk of infected cattle and
      to be resistant to thermal pasteurization treatments; this
      raises concern over the potential transmission to humans
      through MAP infected milk.”

      • Yeah… key word “speculation.” Not even close to what you claim. Having had Crohn’s for 47 years, I have heard/read just about every claim regarding causation/cure for IBD in general. Very anecdotal disease. Dr. B. Crohn thought he was seeing tuberculosis in the ileum back in 1932. The paratuberculosis speculations have been kicked around for decades. As has MAP. Not proven at this time by classical scientific research. Most importantly, hasn’t been repeatable. Definitely not to be claimed as truth by you. Maybe one day, it will be, but not so far. Any more than any specific diet is the Holy Grail. You are misleading people.

        • Michele Lea, “No, Dr. Marshall, H. pylori does not cause ulcers, there is no research to back that theory, you are one crazy researcher.” Twenty years later, H. pylori are stated as the cause of ulcers.

          Tell Dr. Hermon-Taylor that he is mistaken.

          Let me help you do some research:


          Michele, I need you to stop misleading people and do some more research, or show me yours. Thank you.

          • Well, all I know is that I have ulcers, gastritis, esophagitis, (caused HORRIBLE anxiety) no h pylori, no SIBO, no NSAID or alcohol use but IBS-D and I DO have genetic issue of compound hetero MTHFR accompanied by tendency toward metabolic syndrome, and have high L Cysteine (linked to obesity but I am no longer so) and less than optimal glutathione as tested on Nutreval. Recent BRAVO test showed only very mild reflux. Original CDSA showed low diversity after many antibiotics for treatment of Lyme (which was not active; was a prior infection and this certainly made me much worse) but by adding whey, gelatin and homemade yogurt using VSL3 along with my already decent fiber diet I went to 74% diversity in six weeks per ubiome testing. TMAO and Myeloperoxidase are nice and low as tested by Cleveland Clinic in spite of diet high in choline. Hs CRP last check was 1.6. Still, the tendency to ulcers in small bowel and gastritis/esophagitis remain. I have taken good quality “typical” probiotics off and on since in my 20s and did find them helpful usually. I also craved and ate fermented foods but not to any excess, just as a side like sauerkraut and pickles and yogurt. I was not treated much with antibiotics as a kid (never as I remember) and have had a high exposure to pets and farm life. I have horses, dog and cat currently and I am usually in the dirt, LOL! Over the last 5 years I have tried just about every probiotic out there along with a few prebiotics with very limited results overall and the VSL 3 did nothing by itself, but did make delicious yogurt, LOL! There may be something to your mention of collagen, John, because gelatin was almost always calming to my gut, and lately I am seeing some small benefit to Seacure and adding 200 mg l cysteine 4 x day with meals and juicing some veggie/cabbage juice. In my case I hope that the problem is aldehyde and low stomach acid related so that I can finally get things healed. I have eaten whole foods since my early 30s. I am now 60. Menopause was the trigger that brought down my house, but I did have gut symptoms most of my life including being a colicky baby. Sometimes I think there are multiple causes for gut disfunction, and I do think we should all look beyond gut bacteria when trying to fix the gut. In my case at least, I feel I did most things right, but I could not eat my way out of my genetics. I needed the methylfolate, TMG, and other active b vitamins before things began to get better…. And I am still not there yet. But I am much better than I was. I hope this helps someone. I know I am not alone. Thanks!

        • Please look up Professor John Hermon Taylor who has been studying MAP in the UK for 30 years. He has come up with a test to detect MAP DNA in blood samples and has come out with a Vaccine against MAP being tested on Crohn’s Disease Patients in the UK in 2017.
          There is also a Redhill Biopharma Trial on now of the drug called RHB-104 which combines microsized versions of 3 antibiotics in one pill. You can also look up Dr. Borody and Prof. William C. Davis who has written research papers on MAP and is certainly NO push over for he has been doing research for years!
          I’m not saying that you are definitely wrong or that I’m definitely right, but let’s give the idea a possible chance here!!! It could very well be just like the case of finding H. Pyloria bacteria as the real cause of ulcers after years of people saying that it was stress and or worry!
          So let’s see what happens and what the reason or reasons are for Crohn’s Disease. I am looking forward to a cause and an actual CURE rather than the silly “high tech bandaids” they’ve been coming out with for I’ve put up with this terrible problem for 26 years and I’m SO FED UP and DONE with it! And just dying of starvation is starting to look like a good lasting alternative these days!

    • Maybe not yet since the US beef industry, like the tobacco industry of yesteryear, is trying hard to cover up research that shows constant consumption of nasty beef is terrible for people, in many ways. I had severe IBD and was told by so called experts to get surgery, yet thankfully, my open-minded mother started doing research on recent research that points to MEP and other terrible US food industry practices that are destroying American guts in growing numbers. Long story short, after naturally healing my gut for 3 years and starting to eat really healthy (no garbage food-let your imagination run wild what I mean by that), my IBD went away and has stayed away for over 7 years. Wake up!

  4. Does wild oregano kill Mac in high doses?

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

      • What do you make of this? 2 year treatment for MAP, no ultimate difference in outcome vs placebo group, for Crohn’s patients.

        • I’ve looked at the study at Medscape, and it actually states that “RESULTS: At week 16, there were significantly more subjects in remission in the antibiotic arm (66%) than the placebo arm (50%; P=.02).”

          Would this not be explained by that the antibiotics actually could reach and kill many of the mycobacteria, but the reason the intervention after 2 years resulted in no “sustained benefit” is because the mycobacteria developed a resistance to the antibiotics? Think about it, the mycobacterie is part mycelium and part bacteria, so even if it hasn’t developed a resistance, it probably can shapehift like borrelia, to avoid being eliminated, I am thinking.

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

    • Is there a clinical trial for this vaccine? I’d love to know more as I was diagnosed with Crohn’s 5 months ago. This has been the worst thing of my life; so bad that I am now on antidepressants, attending counseling for Major Depressive Disorder, and I’ve even called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ( 1-800-273-8255 ). I’m at the point I’ll try anything to get through this.

  7. 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 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.

    • How much, how often, and what Potency did you use?

      • Hi there! I was also recently given Johneinum 200c for Crohn’s like issues. I had my first dose today, (2-3 pellets under the tongue), and I’m to report any changes or developments with symptoms. Within hours after taking it, I decoupled a pain in my abdomen, upper right side of transverse, 2 subsequent soft BM’s, and passing lots of gas. The is a deep miasmic remedy and one should work with a skilled homeopath to do it because other remedies may be implicated, especially before getting to Johneinum.

  8. Interesting, there’s also Mycobacterium Vaccae from that genus that seems beneficial:
    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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