Altered States of Bowel Ecology


Majid Ali, M.D.


In the mid-1970s, Madhva Ramanarayanan, an immunochemist at Columbia University, New York, and I developed the first ELIZA methods for measuring blood levels of IgE antibodied with specificity for mold, food, and inhalant allergens.1-5   pollen e We applied for and received a U.S. patents for our immunoperoxidase micro-Eliza methodology for this purpose.6

In 1974, I received my appoints on the faculty of the Department of Pathology of Columbia University, New York and as Director of Department of Pathology and Laboratories at Holy Name Medical Center, Teaneck, New Jersey. Using immunoperoxidase Ig-E staining, my colleagues and I found that most plasma cells in nasal polyps were IgE-producing cells, thus establishing the allergic nature of these polyps. 7,8

My IgE work brought me some invitations to speak at some national organizations, including American Academy of Otolarygology, American Academy of Environmental Medicicine, and American College of Advancement in Medicine. In these lectures, I met a large number of clinical ecologists, allergists, surgeons, and physicians with diverse fields of interest. I recognized a gulf between clinical ecologist (who were primarily interested in Candida species in the gut) and the opinions of hospital gastroenterologists (who were then interested only in the bacterial species we isolated in our microbiology laboratory). The two groups were not at odds with each other only for academic interests. There were financial conflicts as well as issues of loyality to END their respective professional groups.

Robust interaction with hospital doctors (review of biopsies, autopsies, and departmental conferences) made it abundantly clear that they were not interested in the subjects of mold and food allergy, and bowel flora. That amused me much. On the hand, Candida was the villain in all clinical problems for many clinical ecologists, nutritionist, and holistic practitioners.

Sometimes during the late 1970s, I first conceived the idea of ecologic thinking in clinical medicine. I presented my rudimentary notion of altered bowel ecology in some conferences but elicited on polite expressions of amusement. I stopped speaking about the subject.

Finally, decided to offer this monograph with the intention of exploring the following questions:

  1. Does the idea of altered states of bowel ecology have any clinical or pathological validity?
  2. What might be the essential functional connectivities between the alimentary tract and other organ systems of the body (other than the self-evident matter of providing nutritional support?
  3. Might “ecologic thinking” lead to the recognition of some scientific basis of the insights of the ancient healing traditions?
  4. Might ecologic thinking clarify some aspects of my then-consuming interest in spontaneity of oxidation in nature as the primary mechanisms of aging;
  5. Might it advance our understanding of myriad roles played by the bowel flora in inflammatory and immune responses of the body?

How far will my experience as a surgeon (FRCS, Eng) and pathologist , and my work with immunopathology take me in this pursuit? Only time will tell.


  1. Ali M. Nalebuff DJ, Fayemi AO, Fadal RG, Connell JT:  An immunoperoxidase method for the demonstration of allergen-specific IgE in serum.  Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 1979; 87:45-51.
  2. Ali M, Ramanarayanan M, Connell JT, Nalebuff DJ, Fayemi AO, Mesa-Tejada R:  An immunoperoxidase assay for serum ragweed-specific IgE.  Ann Allergy, 42:231-235, 1979.
  3. Ali M, Nalebuff DJ, Ramanarayanan M, Fayemi AO, Mesa-Tejada R:  Assay of IgE antibodies against June and Timothy grass by an immunoperoxidase technique.  Clin Allergy, 10:203-209, 1980.
  4. Ali M. Nalebuff DJ, Fadal R, Fayemi AO:  Correlation of the diagnostic skin test with the immunoperoxidase assay in ragweed hypersensitivity.  Ann Allergy, 45:63-66, 1980.
  5. Ali M, Ramanarayanan MP, Nalebuff DJ, Fadal RG, Willoughby JW:  Serum concentrations of allergen-specific IgG antibodies in inhalant allergy: effect of specific immunotherapy.  Am J Clin Pathol, 80:290-299, 1983.
  6. Ali M, Mesa-Tejada R, Fayemi AO, Nalebuff DJ, Connell JT:  Localization of IgE in tissues by an immunoperoxidase technique.  Arch Pathol Lab Med, 103:274-275, 1979.
  7. Ali M, Fayemi AO, Nalebuff DJ:  Localization of IgE in adenoids and tonsils: an immunoperoxidase study.  Arch Otolaryngol, 105:695-697, 1979.

June 27, 1980

Teaneck, New Jersey


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