BIESTMILCH’s View on Biology

This is the story that wants to take you on the trajectory Biestmilch is moving along since several years. Honestly, it took us a long period of time to understand and then discard our traditionial scientific mindset and replace it by a modern systems biology view.

We ventured out on this path without having alliances not knowing what this would mean for us. Today we know that you have to be very patient, dogged and robust, because strong winds are blowing into your face. A scientist, a friend of mine who really meant well said to me: “Don’t give up. Time is working for you.” Today I am not yet able to assess whether he was right. I hope so.

I write this paragraph because I stumbled over two posts in the MACCAX group. They dealt with immunity and nutrition. The immune system was introduced once and again as huge war machine attacking and defending. This image dates back to the turning of the 19th to the 20th century. Paul Ehrlich, a famous German chemist, was one of the protagonists launching this metaphor. Infections have been the crucial and lethal problem in those days, and therefore focus of concern. Besides, the first world war was already in the air, and so were pictures of war penetrating society of which natural science is an integral and powerful part of.

Defence, the prevailing metaphor for the immune system
Defence, the prevailing metaphor for the immune system

This metaphoric picture of the immune system (the term immune already indicates that) as a defense system is prevailing until today, unbelievable in the days of computers, worldwide communication systems, the internet with the social media as its latest protagonist. Networks are everywhere, connectedness is a term that’s in everybody’s mouth. Even modern warfare follows network concepts, decentralized, no big armies, no large battlefields, small tightly over far distances connected mobile units fight the wars of the 21st century …
Nowadays the importance of infections in the Western hemisphere has decreased, allergies, atopic eczema, autoimmune diseases, tumors, and many other chronic illnesses became the central health issues of the 21st century.

The old view of the immune system as a sheer defense apparatus is no tool anymore that helps us to explain and treat these illnesses.

In this text I want to outline the role of the immune system beyond being a defense system but a regulation system highly connected with all bodily parts, hard or soft-wired. The defense approach definitely falls short, not only when it comes to fully comprehend the power of Biestmilch/colostrum, but also if you want to get an idea of what health and disease are about, and how they are related. The majority of our medicinal therapeutic concepts is based on the old mechanistic view of the Newtonian universe. In this world linearity is the ruling paradigm, connectivity, feedback loops, circuits of regulation that make up complex systems, are not located in this realm. One looks for the one cause, the cause gives the solution. I think one could not be more wrong.
Conventional biology and medicine in specific are unfortunately lagging behind (reasons for this situation fill books and are therefore not considered here) upfront scientific development. The walls are scrambling in upfront biology, but until now neither medicine nor sports science or the views about nutrition and health have changed accordingly yet.

The regulation of energy distribution is taken care of by the immune system, the autonomous nervous system and heaps of soluble factors such as hormones.

The transition of metaphors: from a war machinery to a regulatory system

Data of recent research doesn’t support the metaphor of the immune system as a defense artillery where hoards of cell armies fight the invaders.Data went beyond this mindset and forced scientists to find other metaphors that were be able to explain the results of their studies, too many observations have been contradicting the war metaphor.

Here are some of the questions the war metaphor is not able to answer:
Why do some tolerate certain foods and others develop allergies, how come that we coexist with our bacterial gut flora, how do we explain the healing process, how do we explain autoimmunity, and immune tolerance phenomena, how is the immune system recognizing the context and then working accordingly, why do some get sick and others don’t e.g. when influenza viruses spread everywhere, how does the immune system contain viruses that remain in the body a life longĀ  … and many more.

The immune system is not seen as inactive anymore when not attacked but as active at all times.
The new approach in upfront science sees the immune system as collaborating with all bodily systems guaranteeing balance and thus survival.
Regulation is the key term of this new concept. This frame of reference positions all body system, be it organs, cells or systems like immune or nervous system as regulatory components. It seems quite obvious to me that we don’t need an artillery for body regulation. The view of the body as a complex network of regulatory processes indicates a paradigm shift not yet officially announced but infiltratingĀ  the standardĀ  of mindsets. Regulation processes are no linear events, they are made up of sensors and locomotor responses connected to feedback loops and/or circuits, they range from simple relay stations to the most complex intertwined circuits for which the brain is the best example. The immune system has an integral part in all the mentioned processes.

Each stress factor that jeopardizes body balance involves the immune system, so the new systems biology approach. The immune system releases large numbers of messenger factors (cytokines, growth factors, cell differentiation/proliferation factors) that initiate and sustain the communication within the body and its various components. Initiation, control and finalizing e.g. of healing processes, dampening inflammatory processes etc. are the task of the systems that guarantee the integrity of our body and mind. These systems that connect all bodily elements with each other are first of all the nervous system, the immune system and the hormones (adrenalin, cortisol etc).

A change in metaphors changes the patterns of interpretation: from war to communication

The new metaphor explains processes that occur during a workout in a healthy individual without even touching the topic of infection that is best covered by the war and defense metaphor. Under physical and mental stress immune performance may become deficient. The story tells as follows: Training always goes along with minute lesions to the muscles and other tissues such as tendons, vessels and connective tissue. Torn muscle fibers trigger inflammatory reactions. This stimulus is needed because only then training is progressing. Otherwise the muscle cell remains passive, does neither proliferate nor grow in size. These effects alone can already challenge the immune system in a way that it is not fully able to initiate, control and close these multiple inflammatory processes, especially then if workout takes more than 90 minutes a day immunity may get weakened. Phenomena of this kind can only be explained if the immune system is seen as communication and regulation system.

Training induces thousands of tiny lesions within the muscle tissue. Lesions bring about inflammatory reaction that need healing. This is first of all the task of the immune system.

This other way of looking at immunity also changes our interpretation of the metabolic regulation, and allows us to understand symptoms such as listlessness, lack of motivation, exhaustion, need of sleep, elevated body temperature, loss of appetite and weight, and even infections etc. The many soluble factors that are released by immune cell are circulating through our body, they are signals that the receiver (certain cells) interprets. If enough signals are send, and a critical amount of receivers responds then you experience a specific body feeling, be it good or bad, the transitions between states are fluent.

Only this way of looking at immunity made it possible for as to start to understand the mode of actions behind Biestmilch. But as this is not yet common sense, as I mentioned in the beginning of this text, the path we are walking on is still windy and challenging.





Susann is the biest prototype and head of the team. She is Austrian, has studied medicine, meaning she is a medical doctor and the Biesters' alpha wolf. Susann continuously produces new ideas, is strong in making concepts and is practically always ON FIRE. Without her BIESTMILCH wouldn't be where and what it is today, and anyway - not possible.

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