Germ’s Growing Resistance to Antibiotics

Infections of all kinds are becoming increasingly resistant to the antibiotics prescribed to treat them. Experts say it is because of the overuse of antibiotics by humans as well as by food producers.

Believe it or not, nearly half of the antibiotics made in the US are used in agricultural animals to prevent infection or promote growth. The scientific rationale is that animals on antibiotics are healthier and get fatter, says Michael Alekshun, PhD, associate director of anti-infective drug discovery at Paratek Pharmaceuticals in Boston.

When antibiotics are administered too often — whether to humans or to animals — a few strong bacteria survive and reproduce, giving rise to new generations of resistant organisms. Unfortunately, this is only part of the antibiotic problem. Animals raised on antibiotics develop extracellular genetic material called plasmids that can survive the cooking process. These plasmids instruct the normal bacteria in your body to be resistant to the antibiotic.

GROWING ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE

Picture this frightening scenario: A person walks into a hospital emergency room with severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps and a fever. He is diagnosed with a food-borne illness caused by Campylobacter (the most frequently diagnosed food-borne bacterium). The problem? Many antibiotics are no longer effective against Campylobacter — the bacteria have become resistant to them. The result? Extended use of other antibiotics in an attempt to combat the illness. These interventions may or may not be effective, and the patient may be left with a chronic problem.

Farfetched, you say? Unfortunately, it’s not. A recent Minnesota Department of Health study noted that the number of Campylobacter infections resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), has been increasing since 1992. As Dr. Alekshun explains, fluoroquinolones are a very important part of the physician’s disease-fighting tool kit, and the overuse of these critical drugs may compromise their effectiveness.

The problem is that the type of fluoroquinolones used in poultry is very similar to ciprofloxacin — the antibiotic used to treat many human bacterial infections, such as campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis. This could mean that one day, when you need ciprofloxacin it will no longer be effective.

The Minnesota Department of Health study concluded that antibiotic use in US poultry is contributing to increasing antibiotic resistance.

According to Stuart B. Levy, MD, president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, “There is a critical need for more timely action to ensure that antibiotics remain effective. Once the resistance in a bacterial population reaches a certain level, reversal becomes extremely difficult.”

TAKING STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

In 1998, the European Union prohibited the use of antibiotics prescribed for human beings in animal growth promotion. Fortunately, as American consumers become increasingly anxious about just what’s in the food they eat, corporations in this country also are beginning to take note.

In 2002, three major poultry companies — Perdue, Tyson and Foster Farms — voluntarily cut back on the antibiotics fed to healthy chickens. Foster Farms went even farther, agreeing not to use fluoroquinolones in sick chickens. And, on June 19, McDonald’s announced plans calling for its suppliers to phase out — by the end of 2004 — use of growth-promoting antibiotics that are used in human medicine. These are all steps in the right direction.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Vote with your pocketbook. Support the brands that are making an effort to make the food supply safer.

Purchase meat that has not been treated with antibiotics. It will be labeled organic or antibiotic-free. Fortunately, it is increasingly available, even in small, local markets. Sure, it is a little more expensive. But you and your family are worth it.

THE SENSITIVE GUT

Imagine this — you attend your nephew’s wedding. It’s great to see the family, but later that night you can’t get rid of that gnawing, burning feeling behind your breastbone. For the next few days, you pay the price with bouts of diarrhea and gas. Or maybe you’re anxiously planning a big dinner party, and by the day of the event, your stomach feels sour and your intestines are churning.

For most people, such episodes of gastrointestinal upset are infrequent and relatively tolerable. But one in four people has frequent gastrointestinal problems that can severely disrupt a normal lifestyle.

WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF IN THIS CASE:

Take TRUE Colloidal Silver like NutraSilver!

It may eliminate over 650 harmful strains of bacteria and ALL Viruses in less than 7 minutes. Don’t depend upon a doctor who has probably never even heard of it, or will not believe that such a simple remedy is so much better than all the existant antibiotics he has been trained to recommend.


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About CareMan
I am the CareMan, have been for 7 years now. I really do care about YOU and getting YOU back to great, natural health, so long as you have an open mind.

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