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Disorder is the soul of everything – Day 3

Disorder is the soul of everything
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Obesity, diabetes and cancer, also the performance of athletes with outstanding physical abilities are all linked by a common thread: altered cellular metabolism. At the heart of this is a organellum known as the mitochondrium. It is this miniature reactor that is at the heart of the Microbiome Race. But…

…before we get started, it would be a good idea to clarify a few things. It will be easier to come back to it later.

Nature strives for as much disorder as possible. Consider this an axiom. A system into which no direct or indirect energy is introduced from the outside will sooner or later fall apart into atoms. We should rather say into its molecules, even if they are modified in the process. It is common to think of health as a static state, as if it were a period of time with a constant quality. In fact, neither physical well-being nor a state of disequilibrium can be described in terms of constant parameters: even when we are ill, the reality we experience changes from day to day, hour to hour.

So it is better to think of it as a continuous gradient, where at different points we feel better, much better, or conversely, less well. If we look back at the statement about entropy, we can see that nature tends to bring our bodies to the point of maximum disorder, which is given real momentum by the cessation of the input of external energy after the last rites have been given. The human body is most stable as humus. Mother Nature will eat up her own creations. But, as the definition implies, energy input from the outside (communicated to the system in the form of food) can slow this process down. (From here I would tell my father that the “mess” left in his cellar when I was a child was really just a practical implementation of the laws of nature.)

But there is an interesting twist to the story: just as a lack of energy intake leads to the death of the system (and therefore the body), so too does excessive energy intake. So it is possible to destroy with critically low energy and critically high energy as well. To build the body in a continuous, step-by-step way, you cannot increase intake with impunity, you must also increase expenditure, while the way in which both are carried out is also fundamental. We are therefore at the point where we have to delimit the conditions of operation of our body extremely well, so that our body’s performance oscillates in a desirable state with as few fluctuations as possible.

And we have arrived at the first finding, which is that disease (whether cancer or diabetes) is not a stationary condition, not a one-way street, not necessarily irreversible. But just as it is extremely difficult to make the right move in an unstable Jenga tower, it is not easy to get a sick body moving in the right direction. Inaction and wrong intervention can be just as fatal.

I know it doesn’t look promising right now, but we’re only at the beginning. But this context also answers a phenomenon that many of us experience and cannot understand: some patients die of trivial things, others survive fatal illnesses without any reasonable explanation. But one thing the years have shown us is that if we approach a system in a different way from the way we have done it before, it can resist nature’s entropy in the long run. Rather, the question is how long the change or effort can be sustained, what the sacrifice is, and whether at the end of the day we have the willingness to sustain that effort. Are we willing to take action earlier and be disingenuous so that we can stay healthy longer with less effort, or do we wait until we have to fight a heroic battle. The story behind it all is the exchange of energy and metabolism with the outside world, best illustrated by the bodies of elite athletes.

Ready to move on?