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Meet the Yanomami: Magnificent Microbiome and No Autism? Part 1

YanomaniBy Teresa Conrick

Last April, I ran across this interesting article and then the study  that is its foundation:


Scientists have found antibiotic resistance genes in the bacterial flora of a South American tribe who have never been exposed to antibiotic drugs.

The findings suggest that bacteria in the human body have had the ability to resist antibiotics since long before such drugs were ever used to treat disease.

The research stems from the 2009 discovery of a tribe of Yanomami Amerindians in a remote mountainous area in southern Venezuela. Largely because the tribe had been isolated from other societies for more than 11,000 years, its members were found to have among the most diverse collections of bacteria recorded in humans.

Those two issues -" antibiotic resistance genes" and "the most diverse collections of bacteria recorded in humans", got my interest as these people also have none of the diseases that our society has and that may include Autism.  I call Autism a disease as that is what most of the research reports. Also, ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE translates to microbial infections that are hard to kill thus chronic, debilitating and can lead to death. Since they had not ever had contact with antibiotics, I was curious how they could have genes resistant to them. 

                                                                            How is Autism a Disease?

I know some people may be alarmed and others offended but the research is showing this to be true.  It's important to keep up with this investigation as we seek prevention of Regressive Autism, GI Disease and Autoimmune issues.  Treatments for many ill children and young adults are imperative.  My daughter, Megan, who has been diagnosed not only with AUTISM but also AUTOIMMUNITY, is one of them. She began regression in skills and health after a Thimerosal-containing vaccine and the MMR vaccine. Here are some specific examples of research indicating that AUTISM is a DISEASE:

There is so much research on an altered microbiome in Autism that the study on the Yanomami seemed important.  I remembered studying about the Yanomami in my Anthropology class back in college but since that was years ago, I decided to do a little background reading. 

                                                                             Who Are the Yanomami?

You can read articles like this- "The Yanomami: An isolated yet imperiled Amazon tribe," from the Washington Post with mention of “mercury from gold mining” and “influenza, measles and malaria” and resulting in “thousands of deaths” but, there may be a different account of this history.  Here is an excerpt from a historical witness, Patrick Tierney:

Report: Measles Vaccine Possibly Killed Amazon Tribe

Monday, October 2, 2000



Prominent U.S. scientists possibly contributed to a deadly measles epidemic among the Amazon's Yanomami Indians and destabilized the isolated group with their research methods, The New Yorker magazine reported Sunday.

The charges by Patrick Tierney, a visiting anthropology scholar at Pittsburgh University and human rights activist for Amazon tribes, have already caused a storm in the world of anthropology, sparking a heated debate on the Internet.

The New Yorker article is based on Tierney's book, Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon , to be published Nov. 16 by W.W. Norton.

The article said for more than 30 years, anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon studied the Yanomami Indians of Venezuela and Brazil, portraying them as violent and competitive. Chagnon, who retired this year as a professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara, made films, wrote two books and more than 30 articles on his research from the mid-1960s.

But Tierney wrote in The New Yorker that during his own 10-year study of the Yanomami from 1989, "What I found was sharply at odds with what Chagnon described." He added that Chagnon's account of Yanomami warfare in his famous book Yanomamo: The Fierce People , seemed "greatly exaggerated."

Tierney also describes Chagnon's collaboration with a mentor, James Neel, a prominent geneticist at the University of Michigan, on a 1968 expedition which included a measles vaccination effort that coincided with an outbreak of measles among the Yanomami.....Neel and his researchers administered the vaccine known as Edmonston B to the Yanomami despite warnings that it was a dangerous strain for immune-depressed people, Tierney reported. The vaccine, standard treatment in 1968, is now off the market.

He added that measles vaccines were known to produce severe symptoms in people suffering from anaemia, dysentery or chronic exposure to malaria, and the Yanomami suffered from all three.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, no stranger to measles research and also issues of the gut, wrote about the Yanomami   :


Patrick Tierney's compelling account of the violation of the indigenous peoples of Venezuala in "Darkness in El Dorado" raised the question of whether measles vaccine has become transmissible among so-called virgin-soil populations.  Vaccination experiments were conducted by the geneticist James Neel among the Yanomami Indians in 1968.  Despite an apparent prohibition by the Venezuelan government, Neel employed the most reactive of the early measles vaccines, the Edmonston B, on the Yanomami.  The results were unexpected.  He recorded the highest temperatures for any measles vaccine among any population.  Then a measles epidemic, of unknown origin, spread in Neel's words "as a wave away from the original point" ---the point from which, in fact, the vaccinations had started. And within two months of the first case, measles had spread to fifteen villages.

Looking at this new Yanomami tribe and their Microbiome, first discovered in 2009, it is important for both their unique bacteria and viruses, but also the dysfunction of our own. "....the microbiomes of people in industrialized countries are about 40 percent less diverse than what was found in the tribespeople never exposed to antibiotics.

                                                                           Factors That Can Affect the Microbiome

This is from the senior author, Maria Dominguez-Bello of the Yanomami study:

Our results bolster a growing body of data suggesting a link between, on one hand, decreased bacterial diversity, industrialized diets, and modern antibiotics, and on the other, immunological and metabolic diseases—such as obesity, asthma, allergies, and diabetes, which have dramatically increased since the 1970s,” says Maria Dominguez-Bello, associate professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center and senior author of the study.

We believe there is something occurring in the environment during the past 30 years that has been driving these diseases, and we think the microbiome could be involved.”

Autism is not mentioned in that list of diseases but we know it is included, especially due to its dramatic increase and often being seen as the tip of the Microbiome iceberg.

Here's how that could translate from other studies on the Microbiome and autoimmune disease.  This on DIABETES:

Our results are consistent with findings from laboratory studies and provide longitudinal human data suggesting that people with high mercury exposure in young adulthood may have elevated risk of diabetes later in life.

This study may illustrate what happens to the Microbiome when mercury exposure occurs.  Do specific diseases appear when certain beneficial organisms are lost and/or pathogenic ones gained?:

The investigators observed a 25% drop in the number of distinct species present in the microbiome 1 year before onset in the few infants who developed type 1 diabetes during this time.

The population shift involved a reduction in bacteria known to help regulate health in the gut and a rise in potentially harmful bacteria known to encourage inflammation.

“Current research data suggest that changes in the gut microbiota precede the development of autoimmunity,”

And that, I believe, is THE issue surrounding Autism and so many other diseases of the Microbiome, and then an immune system that does not function correctly. Antibiotics are often discussed as the ONLY issue that can change the Microbiome but it seems to just not be correct.

“Perhaps even minimal exposure to modern practices . . . can result in a drastic loss in bacterial diversity,” said first author Jose Clemente, an associate professor with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai...

…Microbiome scientists have peered into the guts of only a few populations around the world. But when comparing the Yanomami microbiome to those from more developed societies, a story is starting to emerge: “With each step in westernization, we seem to be losing an amount of diversity,” said Jose Clemente, first author on the new study [in the microbes of the Microbiome].

Interestingly, this quote from Steve Silberman http://www.thejc.com/arts/books/148893/altered-attitudes-can-open-worlds  regarding his book, 'Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently' seems to reflect this idea that the industrialized world has produced Autism:

One of the most promising developments has been the emergence of the concept of neurodiversity: the notion that conditions like autism, dyslexia, and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be regarded as naturally occurring cognitive variations with distinctive strengths that have contributed to the evolution of technology and culture rather than mere check-lists of deficits and dysfunctions. Though the spectrum model of autism and the concept of neurodiversity are widely believed to be products of our postmodern world,....

Is it possible that the spectrum of Autism is actually a measurement of the health of the Microbiome, thus the brain-gut connection?  According to much research, the answer is, YES. -- Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience

                          What are "Westernization" Exposures That Can Change the Microbiome ?

Yes, antibiotics can affect the Microbiome BUT for many with Autism, PANDAS/PANS, Rheumatoid Arthritis and other autoimmune and immune diseases of the Microbiome, they have given hope as they have altered health and behavior for the positive - An n=1 case report of a child with autism improving on antibiotics and a father's quest to understand what it may mean

The issue of antibiotics in food is certainly a westernized move, unnecessary in most situations, producing changes to the Microbiome and promoting antibiotic resistance:

A majority of agricultural antimicrobials are used as feed additives for growth promotion in livestock and poultry...growth promoting antimicrobials (GPAs) have had important impacts on selection and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) worldwide through the food supply and environmental releases. Moreover, because GPAs are utilized most commonly as mixtures in animal feeds, the gut microbiome of poultry or livestock is exposed to multiple pressures acting on a range of molecular mechanisms associated with resistance development. 

Here then are some other "steps to Westernization":

1- Mercury: This would be the Man-made kind. Its contribution to ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE and autoimmunity is vastly un-researched and under-reported.  Where is the outcry of its effect on the Microbiome?   Thimerosal in vaccines. Amalgam fillings in teeth.  Coal-fired power plants.  Gold-mining.  Polluted fish. - from NIH:    "Mercury may reduce the immune response to diseases in exposed populations...  Continuing intentional use of mercury and its compounds as medicines... in indoor and outdoor environments favors development of bacterial resistance to multiple antibiotics.

2- Vaccines: There is research showing vaccines can alter the MicrobiomeThe role of vaccination on the bacteria and viruses of the Microbiome needs to be scrutinized more - ".....new organisms are expected to move into the empty niches created by vaccine elimination of organisms. Thus the structure of the microbiome is altered by vaccines. The unintended consequences of this alteration remain to be seen."

3- Pesticides: Research is on-going regarding the impact of pesticide use on our food supply (non-organic): "the addition of organophosphate pesticides, which can be ingested through our diet, to fecal communities in SHIME increased the abundance of Enterococcus and Bacteroides, while at the same time decreasing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium"Bacteroides species are significant clinical pathogens and are found in most anaerobic infectionsEnterococci are part of the normal intestinal flora of humans and animals. They have been long recognized as important human pathogens and are becoming increasingly so.

It seems there are an increase of pathogenic bacteria and a significant decrease of the beneficial bacteria in the Microbiome when pesticides are ingested.

Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.


 Teresa Conrick

Thanks everyone. Laura, the research just keeps showing harm and it's hard for anyone to deny that. Thank you!

Birgit, thank you for sharing. It's horrendous and crazy how too many have suffered due to ignorance. All my best.


Brigit; I think we all, every one here understands the shortness of three year statue of limitations, and how time runs out while we are still standing with our mouths open.

Birgit Calhoun

Benedetta! Jail time would have been too good. At least one of the doctors was fired from his orthopedic surgeon professorship. The problem regarding suing was that the statute of limitations had run out before we knew what the man had done. Putting those pieces together should makes this person at least burn in hell and after that he should be shrunk and put out for display in a museum.

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

Birgit, so sorry to hear about how your son (and you) were treated.

Wernicke's encephalopathy has long been associated with intestinal disorders and nutritional deficiencies, especially thiamine (vitamin B1).

Wernicke's encephalopathy is a pattern of bilateral brainstem lesions, first described in 1881. The brainstem structures affected are centers of high blood flow and aerobic metabolism. I keep trying to point out that these brain systems, most prominently the auditory system are also affected by asphyxia at birth.

Teresa, do you know anything about the childbirth practices of the Yanomami? Have they accepted modern obstetrics, and the protocol to clamp off placental blood flow immediately after birth? I will continue to try to point out that clamping the umbilical cord immediately after birth is unsafe, and may lead to a Wernicke's encephalopathy pattern of brain damage.

See Thomson AD et al. Wernicke's encephalopathy revisited. Translation of the case history section of the original manuscript by Carl Wernicke 'Lehrbuch der Gehirnkrankheiten fur Aerzte and Studirende' (1881) with a commentary. Alcohol Alcohol. 2008 Mar-Apr;43:174.


Birgit Calhoun; I have to thank you for sharing such a painful life experience with us.

May they all burn in hell; although some jail time would be really nice too.

I am so sorry.



Above link says that something is transferring from the gut through the vagus nerve and on up into the brain where our motor/movement functions are. Those with a severed vagus nerve did not get Parkinson.


This link says the infectious agent is a prion. That the part of the brain of Parkisons are neat rows of misfolding proteins, or they call the amyloid proteins. Same for Alzheimer's and same for mad cow disease.

Scary stuff for sure. What is a prion -- in Organic chemistry and biochemistry they taught us there are proteins identical to each other but they can be right folder or right handed or left handed. In a biological pathway when the cell is making other stuff -that a protein folded the wrong way will make the cell mechanisms fold it the wrong way and it is like throwing a wrench into the machinery.

If Alzheimer is now being considered type III diabetes.
If reducing the carbs; a low carb diet does help epilepsy, autism, diabetes type II, and a host of other diseases what is the role of prions in glucose I found this article:


Fungi too are prone to prions. They can be growing and doing just fine and then prions mess them up. This article says that in making wine the fungus is doing just fine - fermenting the sugar when it suddenly stops. Turns out that at the beginning when they put the fungus/ yeast into the vat there is also a bacteria. The bacteria wants the sugar too. It has found a way to compete with the fungus. It produces the prion - a piece of not alive - no DNA protein to attach to the receptors of the fungi cells and turn off the ability of the fungi to use sugar as it's main carbon source. It makes fungi floating in sugar starve or look for other carbon sources.

These proteins cannot reproduce, and not all fungi cells will reproduce the wrong handed protein - but there are some fungi cells that can. This is the part I don't understand and I don't think the guys studying it understands it either.

But I did read that the areas in the UK that came down with mad cow disease did have TB earlier, and that if you have a bunch of TB pathogens and kill them - they leave behind these same prions that they found in mad cow disease.

Turmeric might or does with is yellow dyes love to attach to these misformed - wrong handed proteins for some reason.

Also reducing cells that are using fuel from glucose also might be a way to reduce the reproduction of these prions.


They have done the microbiome of the gut of kids that have had Kawasaki diseaes.


I had a hard time distinguishing between strep infection that my kids got a lot. Or rosaola or Kawasakis.; they all kind of looked a lot.

They found five types of streptococcus in the stomachs of kids with Kawasaki disease. Well at the beginning of coming down with Kawasakis they have these different types of strep.

Not all strep is evil, some are suppose to be there as normal flora. As a matter of fact there are a couple of kinds in yogurt and cheese.

But there is something about strep that our kids cannot fight off. Even when they got over the initial Kawasaki disease they got into this cycle of getting a periodical fever every month then two - then as time went on further and further apart. They also go strep often, and some times to me -they were turn pink and strep looked like the periodical fevers - and the milder atypical type of Kawasaki disease.

So I have to wonder if the normal strep is gone and leaves our kids vulnerable to the pathogenic types when there is an empty niche?

But in Kawasakis; when a kid comes in with a high fever they put them on high powered antibiotics just in case as they try to figure out what is the problem. Usually these antibiotics has no effect at all.

It looks like it might not be the actually strep, but the body's immune response (allergic reaction) to strep after it has perhaps filled a niche and the body fights it off and it is reduced in population. Perhaps when it grows in the gut it escapes through a leaky gut or there is something - some kind of toxin it gives off.

Here is a study done way back in the 1927, in which they noticed this type of allergic reaction

"In a preliminary communication (1) we reported briefly on what we believe to be allergic skin reactions occurring after intracutaneous injections of derivatives of hemolytic and nonhemolytic streptococci. The present paper describes these observations in more detail, and reports extensions of this work carried on during the past two years.

Antigens. Most of the observations were made with derivatives of hemolytic and non-hemolytic streptococci obtained from a variety of sources. A few strains of Staphylococcus aureus and albus, Pfeiffer bacillus, B. coli, B. typhosus, B. paratyphosus A and B were also tested. Apparently the same type of reaction occurs in certain individuals with derivations of some strains of these organisms; some of these filtrates, however, caused reactions which seem to be due to primarily toxic substances, rather than, as in the case of the streptococcus antigens, acquired reactions to substances inactive in non-allergic individuals.

Received September 1, 1926.
Copyright © 1927 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc."

So if the good strep is in yogurt -- better be eating our yogurt; don't you think?


Thank you for reminding me about the Yanomami, I thought I read that they tested the measles vaccine on them, in the 1960s before heading north.

Birgit Calhoun

Angus Files! Thanks for your kind words! For myself, I have been over this for a long time. A lot of stuff went on. Those days were no better than these days. In those days there was no Freedom of Information Act. I found out much later what really went on. The whole story is worse than what I wrote down below. But you also learn a lot from that. I learned a lot about mercury and nutritional deficiencies. It helped me find out about what happens when a large part of the intestines don't absorb anything. Also since I have always been interested in medical science, it was not difficult for me to read what I found genuinely interesting. It was very bad for my family. It was the worst of times. But coping also helped me to find out who my friends are and how to live with a difficult situation. It frees you up. You have no other choice.

Angus Files

sorry to read of your sons nightmare time how shocking not that long ago either and the cover up starts immediately. We hear of this so often when the parents see a big change and take the babies back to the practice and without a blink of the doctors eye the cover up is in progress brainwashed into protecting themselves and pharma,shame on them.

Bless his soul Brigit.


Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Teresa. Looking forward to more on this topic!

Birgit Calhoun

Were the Yanomami, in fact, used for vaccine trials? I remember the two researchers from my anthropology classes. I hadn't heard anything about them having received vaccines. Was that being kept quiet?

Measles vaccines were not administered to my kids here in California. I didn't know that they even existed. I know only about a rubella vaccine that I was given when I was pregnant with Erik in 1969. That turned out to not be such a good idea. By what I know now pregnant women should not be given MMR vaccine at all.

Birgit Calhoun

I agree. I hope there are going to be studies regarding the autism and the Yanomami and possibly, if any were ever vaccinated, how they fared.

There are certain conditions, even certain forms of autism, that are clearly defined as genetic condition (e.g. fragile X and others). One of the problematic aspects of autism is the fact that its diagnostic criteria are defined in a book about psychiatric conditions ("Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition"). As soon as something becomes mental. It is being taken out of the realm of physical ailments.

There are conditions, many of them related to simply vitamin deficiencies, that are presumed to be mental e.g. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome unless the doctor actually knows something about that. Other diseases are the result of toxins such as mercury in any form.

I find it really peculiar that an encephalopathy that comes from let's say starvation or gut issues or gall bladder problems or heart disease or mercury poisoning is not pursued as a real disease but mostly shrugged off as "something we don't know". In fact these problems are often known, just not addressed.

When it's autism, doctors say: "That's the way autistics are." The dark ages are still with us although doctors in "Alice in Wonderland" times often knew more about that than doctors do now.

The gut issue is a very important one. It should be studied much more than it is.

My son Erik, who according to official statements died of kidney disease, in fact died of a very severe intestinal problem which was never discovered during his 40 years of his life. He probably had this since he was five days old.

He was tube-fed because he was premature. On day 5 something happened during tube-feeding. My guess is that the tube, which, in those days, was weighted with mercury, broke. The small mercury balloon also broke and it spilled into Erik's gut. Erik was treated for pneumonia because much of the content of the tube went into the lungs. Erik was released from the hospital after five weeks. After he came home, my first observations were that with many of his bowel movements gut tissue was visible. This tissue looked like intestinal lining, meaning villi. I mentioned that to the pediatrician. He shrugged it off as apparently not being unusual. Erik failed to thrive during his lifetime. He always looked like a starvation case with very bloated belly and very thin arms and legs.

No doctor, no matter how much I tried, was ever interested in Erik's gut.

 Teresa Conrick

Hi and thanks.

Anon -- if you click on the blue, each will take you to a study that I am pointing out.

Angus Files

The people to see if you need a fecal microbiota transplant,for sure.Great article agree with it all 100%.


Laura Hayes

As always, fascinating information and observations, Teresa...thank you!

We are being poisoned, harmed, and prematurely killed from every angle, by "government-approved-recommended-and-mandated" products, propped up by our hard-earned tax dollars, via legislation that American citizens never asked for, but rather, which was bought and paid for by big corporations and trade industry groups...with profits being put over health time and time and time again. Sinister business to say the least.

And yet, most refuse to accept, or even consider, that we are being tremendously poisoned day in and day out with toxic products that have sailed through the approval process, despite being terribly hazardous to our health and well-being.

I can't help but to keep quoting this satirical line:

We're from the government and we're here to help.


Fascinating article, Teresa. Could you add the citations for the quotations you included in the last three paragraphs? Would like to read more. Thanks.


You are 100% right. Autism is a disease! Brilliant article!

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