What Really Happens When You Take Antibiotics?

By Raluca Schachter

Contributing Writer for  Wake Up World

Antibiotics: One of the most prescribed drugs in the modern world! The evidence  that proves how harmful this practice is has been available for a while now. Taking a routine course of antibiotics and moreover pouring them into our food has led to some serious and dangerous side effects, greatly affecting human health and immunity and creating highly resistant bacteria in the process. There are instances when antibiotics can save lives, so they have their place. But switching from specific, well-determined and occasional use to a broad use and even worse, to a using antibiotics as a  ”preventive” measure in humans and animals, is totally insane.

Let’s look at the evidence that confirms my statements:

Antibiotics As Prescription Drugs

People became so uncomfortable these days whenever they have a sniffle or infection. They all want it to go away, right away, at any cost! Immediate relief for a life of damaged health.

But common infection doesn’t equal antibiotics!  Our body simply doesn’t work like that.

The whole length of our digestive tract is coated with a bacterial layer providing a natural barrier against invaders, undigested food, toxins and parasites.  If this “coating” (mucosal barrier) gets damaged, well….you get the picture! These beneficial bacteria protecting the gut wall also work against invasive pathogenic micro-organisms by producing antibiotic-like substances, anti-fungal volatiles, anti-viral substances. They engage the immune system to respond appropriately to invaders. Our healthy indigenous flora has a good ability to neutralise toxic substances from our food and environment, inactivate histamine and chelate heavy metals and other poisons.  Again, this is all possible IF the “barrier” is intact…Without a well functioning gut flora, the gut wall not only becomes unprotected, but also malnourished.

The variety of functions and the essential role of an intact mucosal barrier, a healthy gut flora, make this the root of our health. We simply can not thrive without a healthy digestive system.

What is the clinical reality these days? A vast majority of people have a damaged gut flora and a major culprit to this is:  ANTIBIOTICS!

Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride offers a well researched summary of the most common disastrous health effects which directly involve antibiotics :  

  • destroy beneficial bacteria in the human body, not only in the gut but in other organs and tissues
  • they  change bacteria, viruses and fungi from benign to pathogenic, giving them an ability to invade tissues and cause disease
  • they  make bacteria resistant to antibiotics,  so the industry has to work on more and more powerful new antibiotics to attack these new changed bacteria. A good example is tuberculosis, where wide use of antibiotics has created new varieties of the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis resistant to all existing antibiotics
  • they have  a  direct damaging effect on the immune system, making us more vulnerable to infections, which leads to a vicious cycle of more antibiotics and more infections

Since babies are born with a sterile gut flora, the mother esentially “downloads” her gut health / flora into the baby through breastfeeding. No wonder why digestive problems are usually shown to get worse with each generation, considering the mother’s poor gut health and bottle feeding.

Penicillins  and other antibiotics with “-cillin” at the end of their name have a damaging effect on tow major groups of our resident bacteria: Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. This group of antibiotics allow bacteria normally found only in the bowel to travel to the intestines, which predisposes the person to development of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other digestive disorders.

Tetracyclines  and other “-cyclines” have a particular toxic effect on the gut wall by altering protein structure in the mucous membranes, making it vulnerable to invasion by pathogenic microbes and alerting the immune system to attack the changed proteins, starting an auto-immune reaction in the body against its own gut. They also stimulate the growth of pathogenic Candida, Staphylococci and Clostridia.

Aminoglycosides  (Gentamycin, Kanamycin, Erythromicin) have a devastating effect on beneficial bacteria such as physiological E.coli and Enterococci. A prolonged course of treatment with these type of antibiotics can completely eliminate such beneficial bacteria from the digestive system, leaving it open to invasion by pathogenic species of E.coli and other microbes.  

Antibiotics In Food

The problem of antibiotics overuse actually grew to proportions because it comes not only from prescription drugs, but from conventional food everywhere as well! This way, we are exposed indirectly to antibiotics since we are born and their negative effects are real.

Farm animals and poultry are routinely given antibiotics, so all the products made out of these (meat, milk, eggs) will also provide us with a constant supply of antibiotics AND antibiotic resistant bacteria, developed by the animals in their bodies, together with the toxins these bacteria produce.

Many large producers of meat and poultry feed antibiotics to their healthy food animals simply to offset the effects of overcrowding and poor sanitation, as well as to promote faster growth.  Every year, nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics are sold for use in food animals.  In fact, up to 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States go to healthy food animals.

Farmed fish and shellfish have antibiotics added, as well as a lot of fruits, vegetables and grains, legumes and nuts, which are sprayed with antibiotics to control disease.

antibiotics infographic 503x1024 What Really Happens When You Take Antibiotics?

Anti-bacterial Cleaners

Germs do not cause disease! Nature never surrounded her children with enemies. It is the individual himself who makes disease possible in his own body because of poor living habits… Do mosquitoes make the water stagnant; or does stagnant water attract the mosquitoes? We should all be taught that germs are friends and scavengers attracted by disease, rather than enemies causing disease… As their internal environment is, so will be the attraction for any specific micro-organism… The germ theory and vaccination are kept going by commercialism. Dr. Robert R. Gross

Modern times brought along the common belief that everything has to be disinfected and sterilized. But it’s been proven by numerous studies that  constant use of conventional sanitizers and antibacterial soaps is also killing the beneficial bacteria existent on our hands,  that is meant to actually protect ourselves from disease. In other words, resistant bacteria – “superbugs” – will develop, and a former common cold will morph into a much more virulent and harder to treat infection.  

Facts Of Antibiotic Overuse And Solutions To An Imminent Global Danger

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently announced the new CDC statistics on the advance of the  highly drug-resistant bacteria known as CRE  (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae). The reports are frightening:

  • Healthcare institutions in  42 states have now identified at least one case of CRE.
  • The occurrence of this  resistance in the overall family of bacteria has risen at least four-fold over 10 years.
  • In the CDC’s surveillance networks, 4.6 percent of hospitals and  17.8 percent of long-term care facilities  diagnosed this bug in the first half of 2012.  

The U.K.’s Chief Medical Officer,  Professor Dame Sally Davies  released a report in which she calls resistance a “catastrophic threat” which poses a national security risk as serious as terrorism. She warns that unless resistance is curbed, “We will find ourselves in a health system not dissimilar to the early 19th century” in which organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, joint replacements and even minor surgeries become life-threatening.

In March 2012, researchers published a  report  drawing a link between bacteria on chicken and antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections (UTIs). They compared E. coli samples from animals in processing plants to the strain of E. coli that causes urinary tract infections and found chicken to be the source of the bacteria. Last summer, the story gained major traction with the release of a  related study  by some of the same researchers who found that  retail chickens had very high levels of antibiotic-resistant E. coli; about 85 percent of UTI infections came from this E. Coli strain.

Another published  study  from Germany concluded that  methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is rarely found in pigs that are raised without antibiotics.  Similarly, the farmers who live and work with these pigs were less likely to have the strain of MRSA commonly associated with livestock than farmers who worked with pigs who were regularly administered antibiotics. As one of the most notorious multidrug-resistant superbugs,  MRSA is responsible for an estimated 19,000 deaths and 360,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States alone.

In September 2012, researchers at Stanford University concluded that  consumers eating meat and poultry raised without antibiotics are 33 percent less likely to contract antibiotic-resistant infections  than those who eat products raised conventionally.  

Considering all this, how can YOU actively participate in the change of these serious events?

…STOP taking antibiotics with the first infection, rely on NATURAL, effective, safe and powerful antibiotics with NO side effects. My favorites are  raw propolis, grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil, echinacea, Manuka honey.When you really need to take a course of antibiotics, always follow with a course of  probiotics, to counteract the negative effects and maintain a healthy gut flora.

…buy and eat only  ORGANIC meat, eggs and dairy  or at least which hasn’t had antibiotics added (you can find this on many product labels now)

…stay clean using natural, green cleaners for your body and house, and  avoid anti-bacterial soaps,  as well as harsh, toxic chemicals.

…live a healthy life, eat whole food and  take responsibility of your own precious health, so you don’t end up in hospitals and long-term care facilities, which are the most exposed to never ending disease.  

Article Resources

Dr. Campbel McBride, Natasha. Gut And Physiology Syndrome

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/03/uk-cmo-report

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/03/cre-cdc

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9921927/Antibiotics-are-ticking-time-bomb-warns-medical-chief

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/18/3/11-1099_article

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273000

http://www.pewhealth.org/projects/pew-campaign-on-human-health-and-industrial-farming

http://www.pewhealth.org/news-room/in-the-news/state-of-the-science-superbugs-and-public-health
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About the author:

RalucaLong-time contributor Raluca Schachter is a passionate Nutritionist, Metabolic Typing Advisor, and a Weston A. Price Chapter Leader. She believes in the benefits of traditional unaltered food, ancestral wisdom, sustainable farming and simple living.

Raluca was able to naturally reverse chronic health conditions she was struggling with most of her life, and now uses her knowledge to help as many people as possible do the same. Her unique Metabolic Typing® Ecological Lifestyle Programs for Optimal Health offer a very unique and comprehensive approach to health, where individual nutritional and biochemical requirements are firstly met using specific nutrients and foods that each metabolism thrives on. Raluca offers her services for local and distance clientele.

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