Vegan Health ArticlesParatuberculosis and Crohn's Disease: Got Milk?
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From by Michael Greger, MD
Updated January 2001

Mycobacterium Paratuberculosis

The cattle disease, which became known as Johne's disease (pronounced yo-neez), is known to be caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, also known as Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, or MAP.[183] MAP belongs to an infamous class of microbes called mycobacteria which cause diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy. In fact, before Johne properly distinguished MAP from other mycobacteria, the disease in cattle was thought to be caused by intestinal bovine tuberculosis, hence the name paratuberculosis or "tuberculosis-like."

Mycobacterium paratuberculosis is one of the most enigmatic bacteria known.[121] It lives inside the hosts' cells, but has no known toxins and doesn't seem to damage the cells.[23] The damage, much like in diseases like hepatitis, comes from the hosts' reaction to it. MAP triggers a massive immune reaction against the body's own tissues in which MAP is hiding, in this case the gut.[26] It is known that M. paratuberculosis -- MAP -- causes Johne's disease in cattle, but does it cause Crohn's disease in people?

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.