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magazine (“the atlantic”) says baby’s microbiome not all that important



A few days ago, Ed Yong of “The Atlantic” wrote an article called Don’t Stress About Your Baby’s Microbiome Just Yet.  The gist of his piece can be summed up in a few short sentences.  “It’s clear that C-sections and antibiotics can change the microbiome.  But there’s a tendency to assume that these changes are bad, that they last, and that they matter.  And I’m not sure we have enough evidence to warrant any of those conclusions.”  He then talks about recent studies that prove his hypothesis. 

As I’ve shown you before, EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE is often all over the place as far as results of studies are concerned.   For instance, it wasn’t that long ago (actually, many doctors are still guilty of this) that we were all being told that eggs and red meat cause HIGH CHOLESTEROL, and butter and SALT are bad for you.  Now we know this is false.  In similar fashion, I take exception to Yong’s conclusions.

While C-Sections aren’t the end of the world, VAGINAL DELIVERIES are extremely important for exposing babies to their first (good) bacteria.  And as for his antibiotics-are-not-that-bad-for-your-baby-or-young-child stance, I would argue vehemently to the contrary.  As I have shown you previously, ANTIBIOTICS are one of the single worst drugs you can put in your body as far as destroying your health is concerned (just browse the titles under the previous link).  I’ve also shown you that the FIVE OR SIX ROUNDS OF ANTIBIOTICS PER YEAR that most parents consider to be no big deal (“normal”), have far bigger consequences than they could have even dreamed.  In fact, I’ve gone out on a limb and shown parents that the antibiotics they continue to give their children are decimating their future health (HERE).  Yong essentially admits this in the cherry-picked paragraph below.

“The gut microbiomes of malnourished Malawian infants mature slower than usual. The babies end up with communities that are less efficient at harvesting energy from food, which contributes to their low weight and weak bones. Possible culprits include gut diseases, poor diets, antibiotics, or combinations of all of the above.  The point is: we don’t know.  It’s a field that needs to move away from simply looking for changes to working out if those changes matter, from finding statistical significance to establishing actual significance.”

I’ll tell you what.  You wait for more research and I’ll trust my gut.  My gut?  That ‘s right; GUT HEALTH  is arguably the number one factor as far as one’s overall health is concerned.  And nothing destroys it quicker than medications (HERE) — most particularly antibiotics.  Despite the recent interest in the MICROBIOME (it’s been one of the hottest areas of study in the field of medicine for at least the past half decade), there is nothing new under the sun. Listen to what Drs. Paul Clayton and Judith Rowbotham wrote in a 2009 issue of The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died).

“Analysis of the mid-Victorian period in the U.K. (defined as the years between 1850 and 1870) reveals that life expectancy at age 5 was as good or better than exists today, and the incidence of degenerative disease was 10% of ours. Their levels of physical activity and hence calorific intakes were approximately twice ours. They had relatively little access to alcohol and tobacco [or non-snake oil pharmaceutical medications]; and due to their correspondingly high intake of fruits, whole grains, oily fish and vegetables, they consumed levels of micro- and phytonutrients at approximately ten times the levels considered normal today.  They were almost entirely free of the degenerative diseases which maim and kill so many of us, and although it is commonly stated that this is because they all died young, the reverse is true; public records reveal that they lived as long – or longer – than we do in the 21st century.”

Fewer DEGENERATIVE INFLAMMATORY DISEASES and a fraction of the amount of AUTOIMMUNITY?  We shouldn’t be surprised at all.  I would argue that much of this was probably due not only to consuming lots of PRE-BIOTIC FIBER in their diets, but because they ate lots of fermented foods as well (kraut for instance).  Furthermore, they were not tainted by all the drugs that DESTROY AND ALTER one’s microbiome.  Although the concept of the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS was certainly not the model that the ancients based their theories on, healers of antiquity understood a simple concept that modern doctors (RESEARCHERS, NOT PRACTICING PHYSICIANS) are finally rediscovering.  It was the great physician Hippocrates who stated 400 years before the time of Christ that, “all disease begins in the gut.”  And ever since, natural healers have been beating the same drum — heal the gut, heal the body.

Although Yong is correct in saying that we have a long way to go as far as our understanding of the exact mechanisms of our collective microbiome, I believe he is missing the mark in his assessment of this situation.  Remember that it’s the medical community who still largely denies that INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY exits, let alone is a health problem of epidemic proportions.  And they even less often mention it’s just as ugly twin sister — DYSBIOSIS.   When Yong’s article is viewed through the lens of the curative potential of FMT, it almost becomes egregious.  Every study on antibiotics is scarier than the one that came out before it.  Because we know that at least half of all prescriptions for such are inappropriate or unnecessary, I suggest you do what it takes to keep yourself and your family off these and OTHER DRUGS.


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