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The dark side of antibiotics revealed: They are capable of making you more susceptible to diseases in the long run


(NaturalNews) Humans are not alone. They are inhabited by nearly 100 trillion living species of friendly bacteria. The human body is far from being silent and barren. It's really a community, a planet of its own, teaming with diverse life. The various bacteria living in the body are the central intelligence of the human immune system. The greatest concentration of bacteria is found in the intestines, or the gut, where at least a pound or two of living beings come together in one giant city.

Human genetics is both cellular and -- even more so -- microbial. Interestingly, it's the microbial genetics that are the most malleable in the body. They can be depleted and destroyed or supported and strengthened. Scientists are beginning to understand that gut microbes can take over and control bodily functions like metabolism, influencing weight. They are also the guardian of the blood, defending it against toxins that can make their way to the brain and cause chemical changes and mental disorders.

The dark side of antibiotics continues to surface

It's important to know that good health begins largely in the gut. Humans' relationships with their host of bacteria should be one of the most important aspect of taking care of one's health, but in today's modern medical system, this relationship is highly disregarded.

This can be seen in the overprescription and overuse of antibiotics, especially in children. In a person's young age, the colonies of gut microbes are beginning to take form. The mother has an incredible responsibility in passing on healthy bacteria to her child through breast milk. The placenta also passes on important bacteria, even after birth. When children are exposed to antibiotics at a young age, both pathogens and colonies of good bacteria are wiped out. The pathogen may be killed, but the child's gut flora is severely disturbed in the process. This makes them more susceptible to pathogens and diseases in the long run. Using antibiotics isn't the only way to kill pathogens. There are better way to work with the body's immune system that attack invading pathogens without destroying the good bacteria in the gut. Antibiotics may save someone in a life-or-death infection scenario, but in virtually all other cases, they are a nuisance, depleting the body of it's natural defense system, making future infections more likely.

Researchers affirm how antibiotic use can make one more susceptible to diseases later in life

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) proved once again this important fact of life. They showed that antibiotic treatments early in life can lead to specific diseases in the long run. In fact, they showed that antibiotics do not differentiate between good and bad bacteria like natural antibacterials do, like honey and garlic. Modern day, one-mode antibiotics take out bacteria, regardless of whether they're invading pathogens or immune-system-supporting microbes.

Kelly McNagny, professor at the Dept. of Medical Genetics at UBC, led the research. "This is the first step to understanding which bacteria are absolutely necessary to develop a healthy immune system later in life," he said. McNagny was joined by UBC microbiologist Brett Finlay. They tested two antibiotics, vancomycin and streptomycin, and their effect on newborn mice.

The two antibiotics had different effects on the mice in the long run, and it was because of the different ways in which they changed the bacterial ecosystems in the mice intestines.

When the mice were given the antibiotic streptomycin, they were more susceptible later in life to a disease called hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is contracted most often in people who work around hot tub disinfection, sausage making and farming. Conversely, mice given the antibiotic vancomycin in their youth were not susceptible to hypersensitivity pneumonitis later in life.

The different long-term outcomes were based on the way the antibiotics changed the gut flora from the start of treatment. Apparently, the antibiotic streptomycin takes out the good bacteria that protect against hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

What other diseases are perpetuated and exacerbated later in one's life due to the antibiotics they took earlier in life?

The researchers say the future of health will depend largely on restoring the bacteria in the gut that have been destroyed due to antibiotics. They said that probiotics are the future and will help boost the helpful bacteria levels back to healthy levels so that diseases can be prevented in the long run.

"Probiotics could be the next big trend in parenting because once you know which bacteria prevent disease, you can make sure that children get inoculated with those bacteria," summarized McNagny.

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