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Those microorganisms in yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, buttermilk and pickles…yes pickles, that keep your digestive tract on track. Hopefully you eat some of them daily through your normal food intake to maintain your gut health. If you are getting your daily dose, excellent! If you aren’t, you could be missing out on their most significant health benefit.
Probiotics are now found to be helpful in fighting antibiotic resistance, or what’s known as a superbug, that has “epidemic potential” according to scientists.
A Little Background On Antibiotics & Formation Of Superbugs
According to the CDC (2016), “Antibiotics and similar drugs, together called antimicrobial agents, have been used for the last 70 years to treat patients who have infectious diseases.” They are still considered a major advancement in the medical field. A new problem has arisen concerning antibiotics, that antibiotics are too frequently used.
When antibiotics are overprescribed, used too frequently, or used unnecessarily, it causes bacteria to genetically change so that antibiotics don’t work in combating them anymore. This is known as bacteria resistance. Even the most powerful antibiotics available on the market can’t stop the superbug created by overuse of antibiotic medications.
For example, if you have a viral infection and your doctor prescribes antibiotics, which have no effect on stopping viruses, the medication has been misused. This puts you at greater risk of developing antibiotic resistance.
Another example is if you don’t follow your doctor’s orders in completing a 10 day course of antibiotics. If in four days you feel better and you stop taking the antibiotics, you have just put yourself at greater risk of forming a superbug. All bad bacteria must be killed so that it does not mutate, form resistance, and begin generating more of the mutated superbug bacteria in your body.
Don’t be upset when a doctor does not prescribe antibiotics for a viral illness or common cold. They are doing you or your loved one a favor.
Antibiotics In Our Meat
This epidemic is not just stemming from doctor prescriptions. The animals that we consume are also treated with antibiotics, and eating that animal meat lends to additional exposure to antibiotics.
Dr. Mercola (2015) states, “China alone uses 12,000 tons of colistin in animal farming each year. The US uses 800 tons annually, and another 400 tons is used in Europe.”
This poses a pressing health threat that is extremely concerning to doctors and health officials across the world. They are calling on all countries to change how we use antibiotics. If we don’t stop the use of antibiotics in animals used for consumption, we may, as a world population, become immune to antibiotics.
The CDC states, “Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.”
Could Probiotics Be A Solution?
Bastyr University (2013) states, “Probiotic supplements may greatly lower the threat of an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" that has alarmed hospital leaders.”
Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria and yeasts that can naturally be found in your body. They are spectacular for your health and digestive system. The problem is that when you are sick and need to take antibiotics they kill all bacteria, the good and the bad. To help your body restore balance, it’s a good idea to eat foods rich in probiotics or supplement with them.
Bastyr University researchers (2013) found that “patients taking probiotics, or live bacteria, were 64 percent less likely to experience the effects of Clostridium difficile, an infectious bacterium that can cause severe diarrhea and life-threatening inflammation of the colon.”
It’s important to include probiotics as a part of your everyday healthy life routine.