Scientist have reported that our human ancestors won a significant battle against an ancient retrovirus millions of years ago, one
that may have ultimately left us susceptible to HIV.
According to experts, human beings have a gene, called TRIM5a, which was successful in fighting the ancient PtERV1 retrovirus. This retrovirus infected chimpanzees, gorillas and old world monkeys about 4 million years ago but not humans. Scientists believe that the presence of the TRIM5a gene in humans neutralized the retrovirus and therefore prevented infection.
Monkeys were not so lucky. Without a copy of the virus fighting gene, apes’ were susceptible to the retrovirus lodging itself into their genome, thus causing disease. In monkeys that did not die, the retrovirus mutated, and was passed on to offspring. These mutations led to future immunity to the HIV virus, something humans did not get.
Sounds right to me; from my understanding of evolution, this is one mechanism in which an organism can develop immunity. As I say in my upcoming book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health, we actually need to be exposed to infectious agents – it’s the only way for our immune system to evolve. The virus and other microorganisms we encounter today, may protect us from new diseases tomorrow. Microorganisms evolve just like we do, as does our immune system. Think of it in the same way you would a computer virus-scan program – gotta do the updates, otherwise you’re susceptible.
So, in my opinion, it’s futile to eradicate microorganisms. We need them to further our own evolution. What’s more important is keeping the body healthy, so that we can effectively stave off infection, illness and disease on our own – just as chiropractors have been preaching for over a century. Do the right things – eat well, sleep well, get regular chiropractic adjustments – and appreciate those bugs for what they are: accomplices in the evolution of life on planet earth.