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antibiotics: destroying your gut’s microbiome is destroying your health


Antibiotic Resistance

There’s at least one drum I’ve been beating for the entire time I’ve been in practice — antibiotics are a hazard to your health and the health of your children.  Back when I started, I was a total whacko — a loony tune with no idea what I was talking about.  Fortunately the practicing medical community is starting to take notice of what the medical research community has been saying for decades; that antibiotics are capable of destroying your health in ways you would never have dreamed of had you not been following current peer review (HERE). 

Today I want to show you why it’s so tough to manage your MICROBIOME and subsequent GUT HEALTH even if you or your family aren’t taking antibiotics.

  • ANTIBIOTICS IN THE SOIL:  One year ago this month the journal Science of the Total Environment published a study called Adsorption and Degradation of Five Selected Antibiotics in Agricultural Soil, concluding that, “Large quantities of antibiotics are being added to agricultural fields worldwide through the application of wastewater, manures and biosolids, resulting in antibiotic contamination and elevated environmental risks in terrestrial [land-based] environments.  All five antibiotics tested (tetracycline, sulfamethazine, norfloxacin, erythromycin, and chloramphenicol) were susceptible to microbial degradation under aerobic conditions, with half-lives ranging from 2.9 to 43.3 days in non-sterilized soil and 40.8 to 86.6 d in sterilized soil. For all the antibiotics, a higher initial concentration was found to slow down degradation and prolong persistence in soil. The degradation behavior of the antibiotics varied in relation to their physicochemical properties as well as the microbial activities and aeration of the recipient soil.”  In other words, if you are not chemically treating your soil to “sterilize” it, count on the antibiotics sticking around at least 1 to 3 months.  The problem is, the metabolites of antibiotic degradation take longer than that — much longer.
  • ANTIBIOTICS IN THE SOIL PART II:  A study in the January issue of Environmental Pollution (Antibiotics Degradation in Soil: A Case of Clindamycin, Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole and their Transformation Products) looked not at the antibiotics themselves, but at their metabolites.  “Five metabolites were detected and identified in the soil matrix.  The parent compounds degraded in all soils. Almost all of the metabolites have been shown to be persistent in soils, with the exception of N4AS, which was formed and degraded completely within 23 days of exposure.  The mentioned metabolites can be formed in soils, and the most persistent ones may be transported to the ground water and environmental water bodies.”  So, even though the antibiotics themselves were completely degraded in just over three weeks, the metabolites stuck around much longer (persistently), eventually ending up in the ground water.
  • ANTIBIOTICS IN THE WATER SUPPLY:  Soil-based antibiotic residues will virtually always end up in the water supply.  November’s issue of Bioresource Technology (Removal of Antibiotics in Wastewater by Enzymatic Treatment with Fungal Laccase – Degradation of Compounds Does Not Always Eliminate Toxicity) discussed some of the substances being added to our water supply in an attempt to degrade the significant amounts of numerous antibiotics that make their way there.  There were some problems with this approach (“This enhanced degradation induces unspecific toxicity“).  So even though the fungal enzymes are helping degrade the antibiotics, at least for the short haul your water will be more toxic than less.  January’s issue of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety (Occurrence and Risk Assessment of Antibiotics in Surface Water and Groundwater from Different Depths of Aquifers…) concluded that, “The occurrence of 14 antibiotics (fluoroquinolones, tetracyclines, macrolides and sulfonamides) in groundwater and surface water during three seasons were higher in spring than in summer and winter.  Erythromycin was the predominant antibiotic in surface water samples, while in groundwater samples, fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines accounted for the dominant proportion of total antibiotic residues.”  Bad stuff folks — particularly the FLUOROQUINOLONES.  If you take antibiotics but don’t know what it means to be “Floxed,” click the link.
  • ANTIBIOTICS IN THE HONEY SUPPLY:  Speaking of being Floxed, the most well known of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics is Ciprofloxacin (Cipro).  A study from next month’s Food Additives and Contaminants…. (Variability of Residue Concentrations of Ciprofloxacin in Honey from Treated Hives) dealt with antibiotics in the honey supply.  “Honey bees were treated with ciprofloxacin (2012-14) to investigate the variability of residue concentration in honey.  Honey was collected over nine scheduled time points from May/June till late October each year.  The average ciprofloxacin concentration for 2014 at the last time point was more than 10 times the concentration compared with samples from 2012/13 at the same time point.”  While the authors blamed this on the species of honey bees being used, it is a freaky scary study nonetheless.  Especially knowing that……
  • ANTIBIOTICS ACCUMULATE IN CHILDREN’S BODIES MAKING THEM FAT:  I’ve not only shown you that antibiotics are likely the single worst thing you can do for the health of your children (HERE), there is unequivocal evidence that these drugs make them fat as well (HERE). A study from last Spring’s issue of Environment International (Antibiotics Detected in Urines, and Adipogenesis in School Children) backs this idea by concluding, “Antibiotic use during early life has been demonstrated to be related to the altered adipogenesis [becoming fat] in later life.  586 school children aged 8-11 years were selected in 2013, total urinary concentrations (free and conjugated) of 21 common antibiotics from six categories (macrolides, β-lactams, tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, sulfonamides, and phenicols), including five human antibiotics (HAs), two antibiotics preferred as HA, four veterinary antibiotics (VAs), and ten antibiotics preferred as VA, were measured.  All 21 antibiotics were found in urines with the overall detection frequency of 79.6%.  Some types of antibiotic exposure, which were mainly from food or drinking water, were associated with an increased risk of obesity in school children.

I don’t care who you are, this is scary stuff!  You do everything you can so that your family never takes an antibiotic, and boom; you learn it’s everywhere.  The soil.  The water supply.  The food supply. What’s a person to do?  Every cloud has a silver lining, and the good news is that there are natural antibiotics you can use if you feel you or your children need an antibiotic.  It seems that the antibiotic crisis is at such a point where scientists are actually looking toward these as opposed to focusing only on pharmaceutical chemicals.

  • THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS:  Last month’s issue of Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry (The Impending Renaissance in Discovery & Development of Natural Products) revealed that, “Antibiotics are wonder drugs. Unfortunately, owing to overuse, antibiotic resistance is now a serious problem. Society now finds itself in the post-antibiotic era, and the threat of infectious diseases is on the rise. New antibiotics are sorely needed. There is strong evidence that suggests natural products are an attractive source of new antimicrobials. They posses desirable structural and chemical properties that make them potent therapeutics.

Isn’t it funny how science is validating what the natural health community has been saying forever?  Gut Health is everything.  Antibiotics are destroying people’s health in ways they can’t even imagine.  We are entering the “post-antibiotic era“.  There are any number of natural antibiotics out there should you need an antibiotic. 

If you are chronically ill or struggling with chronic pain (and especially if you have a history of taking antibiotics at some point in your lifetime — HERE), make absolutely sure you read THIS POST, which among other things, addresses Gut Health. And be sure to like, share or follow on FACEBOOK as well.


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