By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
September 4, 2015
- This serious threat is happening right now
- The truth behind antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- Don’t believe the new directive: Instead, eat like your ancestors.
Antibiotics are big news these days. That’s because the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is looming right in front of us.
Now, this isn’t just my opinion. Even the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) are expressing serious concerns.
In fact, a recent WHO report states that “This serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country.”
I blame this crisis on two things.
First is the overuse of antibiotics by doctors.
Unfortunately, many mainstream doctors are quick to write you up a prescription for an antibiotic when you have a cold or flu – even though antibiotics do nothing to stop or cure these viral infections. Still, about two out of every three doctors are still prescribing them for respiratory viruses.
And more than half of the time they’re prescribing the strongest kind of antibiotics available.
These are called broad-spectrum antibiotics. And they’re capable of killing multiple kinds of bacteria all at once, including the good kind.
Guess what happens then? Any resistant germs that are dangerous to your health are left to grow and multiply at will.
I just wrote about one of these broad-spectrum antibiotics a few weeks ago. In it, I included several natural alternatives that can fight even some of today’s most resistant bacteria.
Second and most urgent is the abundant abuse of antibiotics used in animal feed. It might sound unbelievable, but about 70% of all antibiotics in the U.S. are used on healthy farm animals. In 2011 that added up to 30 million pounds of antibiotics. Mostly, they’re used to fatten the critters up.
In the meantime, that meat and poultry ends up on your dinner table.
Well, just a few months ago the FDA finally took some initiative when it comes to the use of antibiotics in animals. But in my opinion, it’s much too little, and way too late.
It’s something called the Veterinary Feed Directive final rule. This ruling states that antibiotics can no longer be used to help plump animals up and make them grow faster. Instead, all antibiotics used in animal feed have to be prescribed by a veterinarian for the use of disease prevention.
Now, if you’ve heard about this ruling, which is supposed to go into effect in December, 2016, you might think you’re off the hook when it comes to searching high-and-low for “no antibiotic” meat.
Well, not so fast.
It might sound good in theory but “Hey! Wait a minute,” says the big ranch owner. “My cows and pigs are exposed to all sorts of feces and nasty bacteria. This can make them sick. So I really need plenty of antibiotics added to my feed for disease prevention!”
Do you see what I’m getting at?
Once again, the FDA took the wrong measures.
And just because the rules changed, it doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to get around them. That’s why I suggest sticking with the tried and true.
Your ancestors didn’t eat animal products pumped full of antibiotics, hormones and who knows what else. And neither should you.
When it comes to red meat, the more natural it is, the healthier it will be for you.
My personal preference is grass-fed, New Zealand lamb. Unlike North American livestock, these creatures are able to roam freely, eat a healthy diet, and are hormone and antibiotic free.
But any grass-fed meat is better than today’s conventional meats. Grass-fed lamb, beef, buffalo…whatever works for you. Just keep your red meat intake to about 13% of your diet and let veggies and fruits make up the remaining 87%.
Poultry is another meat staple, and it’s much less expensive than red meats. But once again, make the right choice by choosing your poultry from organic, pasture-raised sources.
These days, antibiotics are even used on farm-raised fish. That’s why you should always buy wild-caught. If you’re worried about mercury, you can keep exposure to a minimum by avoiding deepwater fish and sticking with ones that are lower on the food chain. This includes salmon, herring, sardines, trout and flounder.
While the threat of antibiotic resistant superbugs is already amongst us, these are just a few things you can do to help break the trend and protect yourself from vulnerability.
WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health. News Release. World Health Organization. Apr 2014.
Jones BE, et al. Variation in Outpatient Antibiotic Prescribing for Acute Respiratory Infections in the Veteran Population: A Cross-sectional Study. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Jul 21;163(2):73-80.
Shapiro DJ, et al. Antibiotic prescribing for adults in ambulatory care in the USA, 2007-09. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 Jan;69(1):234-40.
FDA regulation to help ensure judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. News Release. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. July 2015.