When and Why Did I Introduce the Term Bowel Ecology?

Majid Ali, M.D.

A reader asks when and why did I introduce the term bowel ecology. In the late 1970s, I served on the faculty of courses taught by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. In those years, the terms “yeast connection” and “systemic candidiasis” were in rage among naturopathic and holistic practitioners. Candida, of course, is a part of normal colon flora, and is only among the major yeast species commonly present is the various segments of the alimentary tract. During those years, I worked as a hospital pathologist and examined more than 2,000 colon and over 500 biopsies of the stomach and small intestine. I could only find mild non-specific inflammatory responses in the colon, stomach, and esophagus biopsies of patients who were diagnosed with the “yeast problems” by their holistic doctors. Gastroenterologists had nothing but disdain for what they called was “candida nonsense.” Neither group focused on the essential relatedness of digestive-absorptive functions in the various segments of the alimentary tract, nor is that between the microbial flora in the mouth, stomach, and colon. It was then that I conceived the notion of gut ecology.

Gut Ecology

I recognized the need for ecological thinking in clinical medicine. To present my case, I introduced the term gut ecology for broader ecological considerations of the health/dis-ease/disease continuum in the alimentary tract that causes clinical disorders in all parts of the body. I followed that monograph with a series of research papers and books for the general readership to firmly establish the beginnings of nutritional, inflammatory, immune, and degenerative disorders. I received strange looks when I presented my evolving ecological concepts in national and international meetings. After a few years I realized that its time had not come yet.

In 1987, I published a monograph entitled “Altered States of Bowel ecology. Eight years later,
I filed for registration of “Bowel Ecology Protocol” with the United States trademark office (for Institute of Preventive Medicine, Inc. in Denville, NJ, 07834 (Serial Number: 74650878). In 1998, the trademark was registered (Number: 2168764).

During the 1990s, I published the first nine volumes of my 12-volume textbook entitled “The Principles and Practice of Integrative Medicine” and served as the chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine and President of Capital University of Integrative Medicine, Washington, D.C. The University community was very open to the merits of ecologic thinking in clinical medicine. A Google search shows a large number of articles written by them.

Acceptance of Ecology Terms In Medical Literature

It would be nearly 25 years before the terms bowel ecology, gut ecosystem, stomach ecology began to appear in medical and science journals, including Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and others.

For further study of this subject, I invite readers to consider “Dr. Ali’s Course on Healing,” which can be downloaded from www.aliacademy.org

Healing Seminars
Parts 1 to 4

Dr. Ali’s Course on Healing
Seminar 1 – Introduction

Dr. Ali’s Course on Healing Seminar 2 – Cellular Fermentation Forms
Dr. Ali’s Course on Healing Seminar 3
The Oxygen Model of Inflammation

Dr. Ali’s Course on Healing Seminar  4
Dr. Ali’s Breakfast




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