If you're one of those people worried that the over-prescription of antibiotics is leading us toward biological calamity, you're not going to like this. Writing in the journal Nature this week, Martin Blaser of NYU's Langone Medical Center makes the case that antibiotics aren't just leading to highly resistant superbugs, but that they are permanently altering our bacterial microbiomes, and not for the better.
Our microbiomes are the collection of bacterial microbes that we carry around with us all the time, those symbiotic little bugs that live on our skin and in our esophagi and--very importantly--in our guts. And while we've long known that a cycle of antibiotics prescribed to kill off an infection can also kill off some of our most important beneficial microorganisms, the general line of thinking is that once the cycle of antibiotics ends our microbiomes correct themselves and the natural order of things returns.
Blaser presents arguments otherwise in an editorial that suggests that our gut bacteria is permanently affected by a cycle of antibiotics, and that the impact is so profound that it might be time to seriously consider not giving antibiotics to anyone other than very young children and pregnant women. Quoted by Maryn McKenna in Wired:
He then goes on to present some disconcerting correlations between the absence of certain bacteria and the rise in incidences of things like allergy, asthma, and weight gain. He points to evidence that children are getting too many doses of antibiotics before adulthood and that their microbiomes are never the same for it--specifically that the damage to our gut bacteria populations is permanent from that point forward.
Which leads to an eventual conclusion that when our children are sick we shouldn't give them what we know will make them better. And that's a tough pill to swallow.
Very believable. Can they make a more advanced complete probiotic that can compensate?
I take probiotics, but I never felt they were enough...
Always felt worse after taking antibiotics...
old news. but still, more research to back it up. maybe more corporations will stop trying to make everything antibiotic, or doctors will stop just giving antibiotics away because the patients think they need them and won't shut up and listen to the doctor's explanation of why antibiotics may only make things worse :/
why learn from your own mistakes, when you could learn from the mistakes of others?
Soylent Green is PEOPLE!
In the event Gumba comes to troll, ignore him. Do not feed his rants, do not reply to any condescending remarks, do not even read if he says "@ your name". Just ignore it. No reason to care what he says.
Now bout the main article. It could be cuz I'm just an average person, but doesn't our own bacteria become drug-resistant? If not, why? Does it alter their DNA in some way?
I think they should put more funding into nano-technology. That way, we'd be able to destroy bugs manually... like in Invader Zim where Dib swallows a bot and battles Zim inside his body.
Hey, science fiction frequently becomes science fact!
I wonder if there is some way to restore the beneficial bacteria in our guts, some sort of probiotic thingamawhatsit... that would be great. If such a thing was found, would the percentage of people with allergies go down? Interesting thought.
Interesting assertions, but I'm not putting much stock in it until we see some real evidence, not just Blaser's alarming claims. Reading the Nature editorial, one phrase in particular makes me question the validity of his worry: "we may not be able to wait until we fully understand the problem before changing our approaches."
We shouldn't wait until science confirms a hypothesis before embarking on a supposedly scientific course of action? Sounds suspiciously similar to other wacky proposals garnering a lot of attention lately. I say verify first.
Blaser proposes that we "reduce the use of antibiotics during pregnancy and childhood" because they are overused without showing any evidence of overuse. He also suggests that we develop probiotics to "stabilize at-risk residential microbial populations". The second idea probably has merit even before we "fully understand the problem" and would likely do no harm.
That Blaser also asserts that the new narrow-spectrum antibiotics and better diagnostics we'll need will "require providing incentives for the pharmaceutical industry" makes me question his reasoning. Research groups, labs, and the pharmaceutical industry are already working on better approaches to neutralizing dangerous bacteria, especially the ones that are resistant to current antibiotics. What more incentive do they need?
Lot's of opinion from Blaser but little evidence yet to support it.
Green jelly beans, not good at all!
Phages would be our best bet at this point. It doesn't attack our body but it does attack bacteria in it! Anyone care to rebuttal? Seriously i'm going on a limb by saying this!
Can't rebut, Lricardo and can't stop staring at your avatar.
I wounder too. But then, what if we made it too strong and it attacked our own bodies? A sort of super self-immune disease? Or produce to much of a certain vitamin since, last time I heard, we get some vitamins from the bacteria inside us.
I think, the only way this could be proven true or false is by doing a longitudinal study of 500 people. It would take long... but it would provide the necessary answers rather than looking in the dark. Say, half don't take biotics and the others represent the majority of the people. Then we could find if they were overused or not.
But I'm just an average person. I only know what I've read or skimmed. I could be wrong. Please tell me what you think.
Green Jelly beans might be good if you were Serotonin depressed.
My avatar is actually a 4D image of a box, as it is mathematically believed to look in a 4 spatial dimensions. We're used to 3D so we see an illusion rather then the actual rotation of the cube.
Anyways this reminds me of chi and how all your life energy is basically concentrated in your gut. I suppose this makes you rethink how much truth is in chi. Specially without the mumbo jumbo behind it.
"In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before.".. Paul Dirac
my mom always told me not to get shots. i have never gotten a flu shot for anything and i have been ok for my entire life. now i appericate the fact that i never got any
*growls*If you troll or flare I WILL MAUL YOU!*growls*
Yes our own bacteria can become a population drug resistant microbes. The DNA is not altered but some of the bacteria may have a mutation that allows them to be resistant to say ampicillin. After repeated exposure to ampicillin only the bugs with the resistance will remain, but this will also hold true for the bad bugs. Also since this study is so novel the interactions between beneficial bacteria may be what is being thrown off. It is a microbiome and different bacteria may rely on others to produce a certain byproduct and if this bacteria dies the whole system could fall out of whack. Also your longitudinal study of 500 would be beneficial but it would be difficult to find a large number of people who have never been exposed to antibiotics because perhaps only one or a few exposure(s) can lead to long lasting effects.
Some people(my Mom and wife) tell me that I'm stubborn for not wanting to go to the doctor and get a pill that will make me better in a few days. They always ask why do I insist on suffering?
My response has always been, my body doesn't need outside help to fight a tough cold, it has all the tools it needs. When I was sick with swine flu(yes thats right, swine flu) my body kicked it out in less than 48 hours.
Unless its an infection that requires it, I won't get antibiotics. I even suffered through an ear infection without anitbiotics just so that my body could deal with it on its own(probabaly won't ever do that again though lol). This teamed up with a very active lifestyle is probably why I only get really sick every 3-4 years.
Keep that in mind
@macmansa...if you have never had the flu consider yourself to be one of lucky few that have a genetically predisposed immunity to the flu (is that possible?), i get a shot or get the flu, so i get the shot, immunizations are different than anti-biotics and don't weaken the imune system, they train an imune system that is weak towards a certain virus and make it strong towards that virus, this saves millions of lives and don't have the greatly exagerated side effects that conspiracy loonies scream about
so then why not just swallow pills of the right bacteria so we can restore our healthy bacterial cycle
@drchuck1 oh sorry i thought the were kind oth the same thing fail on my part lol
they actully do have pills like that i don't remeber the name but they have these supplements to increase the amount of healthy bacteria that reside in the intestines.Again it was my mom who found these,by the way she has a docterates degree in natraul healing so shes always into stuff like these.
*growls*If you troll or flare I WILL MAUL YOU!*growls*
I think the problem with probiotics is getting enough of the good bugs to survive the trip through the stomach without getting destroyed by the stomach acids.
same with me. never needed any "outside" help when fighting colds. i had a terrible flu 3 years ago(only gotten it twice in 5 years) and i didnt need any pills to fight it. sure it made my whole body weak and tired but with exercise and meditation i fought it off.
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
@Lricardo101 Where does a person get a cool avatar like that?
This is fuzzy science at best. Obesity, allergies, low gut flora, and antibiotics have not been proven to be connected by anything other than affluance.
Obesity is caused by callorie consumption, and anything else is merely an influencing factor.
Allergies, and other auto-immune issues, have long been associated with the hygenie hypothesis (that living in sterile environments results in a failure to develope proper immune responses). Clearly, IF eating dirt and bugs as children is the answer to auto-immune, you could argue that the same is true for culturing good gut flora.
No one can argue, however, that the over-use of anti-biotics is clearly detrimental to the health of the entire species.
I've not missed a day since childhood, and I blame that on a life of clean living. No drugs, no alcohol, no smoking, plenty of sleep, homecooked wholesome full-fat-and-flavor food, and hard work have given me decades of good health. My medicine cabnet consist of pepermints and asprin.
This will all get sorted out via evolution and natural selection.
There is a lot to be said for this research. Not sure about the diabetes, allergies, etc., but the inflammatory bowel disease there is definitely a connection. My wife got what we thought was a bug bite on her breast and she went to the doctor. The doctor's Physicians Assistant panicked thinking it was inflammatory breast cancer sent us to another doctor he was not sure so he prescribed some antibiotics 4 months later she gets gravely sick begins bleeding from her rectum colon scope showed her colon was one big scab from one end to the other. After a couple of months of harsh steroids, 50 lbs of weight lost they removed her colon, she still has rectal bleeding from time to time, but is much more healthy and they still are not sure what she has. We are convinced is was the antibiotics that started all of the colon issues, and what we thought were bug bites on her breast returned this year we used the wait and see approach and they disappeared. Interesting how BIG PHARMA is now pushing the probiotics.
could you reinoculate the colon with bacteria from a healthy one? I know it sounds gross, but hey, if it works...
@cold and flu "survivors",
Getting a Cold/Flu is different from getting a bacterial infection (cold/flu is viral).
Cold/Flu medicine is different from antibiotics (it treats the symptoms instead of killing the cause).
Everyone who survives a really bad cold/flu does so without medicine helping them fight it off. All of the cold/flu medicine you see on the shelves in stores is meant to relieve the symptoms (runny nose, congestion, temperature, etc.)
Therefore your tales of not needing pills/help to "fight" colds only illustrate your lack of medical knowledge.
Why do you feel that you are an authority on the subject and competent enough to give advice when you so clearly don't understand the first thing about what you are discussing?
I got poison ivy in July of 2009. I am extremely allergic and it will only go away with steriods. It never went away, and the rash persisted for more than two years. Come to finally find out from Dr. Hotze's Wellness clinic, that I have a major systemic yeast infection. Two major operations 2001, 2005, in which I was administered massive amounts of antibiotics to fight infection after the operations, steriods administered to try to stamp down the poison ivy, and more antibiotics in June of 2010 wiped out my natural bacteria and the yeast in my bowels took over which caused yeast die-off rash all over my body. From November 2009 - November 2010, allergists and dematologists kept telling me that the rash was exema, or cellulitus, or some other contact dermititis. They came up with all kinds of allergies I was supposed to have. Once I was finally diagnosed, it has taken me almost a year to get things back to normal. Yes! Antibiotics can definitely screw you up! Eat yogurt, take probiotics, and stay away from gluten as it really give yeast a lot to eat and their population grows.
Phage therapy is the answer to all infectious problems (for each bug there's at least one killer phage).
But as there's no money to be made from that angle (patents etc.), no pharmaceutical company or government is going to sink one single dollar into that avenue.
Type "phage russia" into your browser and you'll never buy an antibiotic (sold by "Big Pharma") again in the future.
More often then not our efforts to control or eradicate various problems in life lead to something unexpected and worse then what we started with. Antibiotic resistance is on the rise. We rarely take time to consider the effect our actions have on the beneficial organisms our actions impact. It is not just bacteria. Bedbugs have been taking over since the end of DDT use. The chemicals used to control them now have been proven to be losing their effectiveness already. Due to pressures placed on the bug, we are working to control an insect that is completely different then it was 50 years ago.