The misuse of antibiotics is not only causing new, never-before known diseases like E. coli and MRSA, the flesh-eating bacteria, it's also destroying the gut biome with devastating effects on our ability to deal with infections and destroying our ability to absorb nutrients from food.
by Heidi Stevenson, originally published on Gaia Health.
Emerging research shows that the harmful effects of antibiotics go much further than the development of drug resistant diseases. The beneficial bacteria lost to antibiotics, along with disease-inducing bacteria, do not fully recover. Worse, flora lost by a mother is also lost to her babies. The missing beneficial gut bacteria are likely a major factor behind much of the chronic disease experienced today. The continuous use of antibiotics is resulting in each generation experiencing worse health than their parents.
Martin Blaser, the author of a report in the prestigious journal Nature writes:
Antibiotics kill the bacteria we do want, as well as those we don't. These long-term changes to the beneficial bacteria within people's bodies may even increase our susceptibility to infections and disease.Overuse of antibiotics could be fuelling the dramatic increase in conditions such as obesity, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and asthma, which have more than doubled in many populations.
Without even considering the development of superbugs, we're now seeing clear documentation that the overall long term effects of antibiotics are devastatingly harmful to our health. Speaking to ABC News, Blaser said:
Antibiotics are miraculous. They've changed health and medicine over the last 70 years. But when doctors prescribe antibiotics, it is based on the belief that there are no long-term effects. We've seen evidence that suggests antibiotics may permanently change the beneficial bacteria that we're carrying. [Emphasis my own.]
Notice that term, permanent. Without factoring in the potential risks in the casual use of antibiotics, it now looks like conventional medicine is creating several pandemics of some of the worst chronic diseases known.
Mass Use of Antibiotics
By the time a child reaches age 18 in the industrialized world, the chances are he or she has been given 10-20 courses of antibiotics. That misuse continues into adulthood, and they're casually prescribed to pregnant women.
That's where the situation grows ever worse. Part of normal childbirth is a baby's passage through the birth canal—where it's exposed to its first dose of beneficial bacteria. (This should give pause to anyone considering a caesarian birth that isn't absolutely necessary.)
When a mother's microbiota is deficient, her child is born to that deficiency. The evidence now appears to show that, once a probiotic deficiency exists, it is never recovered—and it's passed down the generations. Therefore, each generation is likely to suffer from poorer health than the parents enjoyed.