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Genetic Mutation

Monday, April 24, 2017

Recently I wrote an article about research in opioids occurring in cow’s milk and possible risks with human consumption. The reaction to that article prompts this response.

The concern among medical ethicists and investors about opioid research seems unjustified.  Review of published research reveals that there are no conclusive claims made about milk and health risks. All statements were conditioned by the caveat that “the evidence to date is far from conclusive.”

Several commercial dairymen and distributers were questioned about the issue of A1 and A2 milk, and it was discovered that financing of almost all dairy associations, like the financing of medical associations and legal associations are non-profit and solely for education and promotion of interests of the industry. No evidence of federal funding was found.

What started my research in genetic mutations in cows leading to different types of milk was my interest and research in diseases possibly caused by or related to genetic chromosomal mutations in humans.

My first involvement in this type of research was in 1965, 66 and 67 when I was researching my book “Ophthalmic Eponyms: An Encyclopedia of Named Signs, Syndromes and Diseases in Ophthalmology”, published in 1967 by Aesculapius Publishing Company, Birmingham, Alabama. (Library of Congress Card Number 67-23391).
In this book I described more than 200 syndromes and diseases that were familial and possibly the result of genetic mutations.  Examples include Adies Syndrome, Albers-Schönberg Disease, Albright’s Syndrome, Alport’s Syndrome, Alström-Hallgren Syndrome, Alzheimer’s Disease, Amalric’s Syndrome, Andogski’s Syndrome, Angelvecci’s Syndrome, Apert’s Syndrome, Aubineau-Lenoble Syndrome, Axenfeld-Schüremberg Syndrome, Berdet-Biedl Syndrome, Barlenwerfer’s Syndrome, Basedow’s Disease, Bassen-Kornzweig Syndrome, Batten-Mayor Syndrome, Behr’s Disease, Benjamin’s Syndrome, Best’s Macular Degeneration, Biber-Haab-Dimmer Corneal Dystrophy, Bielschowsky-Jansky Syndrome, Bieman’s Syndrome, and many more from A to Z.

My aim was to identify diseases and syndromes that, with today’s advanced technology, might possibly respond to deliberate alteration in the DNA, providing a cure or amelioration.  It began as a search for possible genetic links for cures to diseases such as Autism, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other diseases of aging.

What I discovered was a number of studies linking, not only genetic connections to abnormal conditions in humans, but also to genetic alterations in other animals such as cattle. I discovered articles on genetic mutations in proteins in milk, serum, hormones and enzymes.  Some of these appear to have the potential of affecting brain function, reproduction, and resistance to disease.

The evidence suggests the possibility that diseases such as Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and other degenerative conditions may be traced to mutations in genes.  It would follow that with current science one could identify the abnormal or mutant gene characteristic of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and replace it with normal genes, effecting cure or amelioration.

The opposition to tobacco and cancer research by the tobacco industry over the past six or seven decades seems similar to the dairy industry reaction to this current research.
Conclusions: The facts will survive, and research may lead to cures, and the public health will be better served as a result. With the recognition of the potential for gene modification the potential for familial disease prevention may be realized.

Spencer Thornton, MD