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It’s not junk food that makes you fat, it’s hunger boosting antibiotics that make you over-eat

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Girl with hamburger
Watch out, you’ll get fat anyway – even if you DON’T eat junk food!

Junk food, right. Didn’t know antibiotics were such hunger boosters, hey?

Better believe it.

They’re the world’s No 1 appetite stimulant. Which is why 240,000 tonnes of them are added to animal feed every year. Slightly more than the three capsules a day the Doc might put us on for a chest infection.

Yeah, 240,000 tonnes. How else could we ramp up world food production for 2½ billion people to 7½ billion in just 50 years?

Not from medicine, from food production

Forget life-saving and medicine, antibiotics are BIG business – in agriculture.

Massive factories churning out billions of doses to support the super-production of food. Intense and accelerated growth for the 19 billion chickens, 1.4 billion cattle and 1 billion sheep and pigs it takes to feed us – almost 3 chickens for every one of us.

And how effective are antibiotics as growth boosters?

Very.

From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years.

And if they can do that to animals, what can they do to us with basically the same metabolism?

Like animals, our gut bacteria are attacked by antibiotics and many of them killed or damaged – as you know from the Doc, killing bacteria is what antibiotics do.

Business as usual – only fatter

We survive however because there are TRILLIONS of bacteria in our gut – enough to carry on essential work of digesting, producing proteins and managing our immune systems – along with several thousand other vital functions.

Like the animals however, we are no longer the same. The controls that tell us when we’ve had enough to eat are no longer active. There’s NOTHING in our bodies to stop us eating and eating.

And like the animals too, our bacteria are now over-stimulated. They extract MORE nutrients from the food we eat than before. It’s the same food, we just squeeze more out of it. More food value than we need – the fuel tank is over-full.

A condition we call fat.

There is a difference though. The animals are food – their life expectancy is very short. They’re fattened up and eaten, bye-bye.

We fatten up – with our whole life-time ahead of us, thirty, fifty, seventy years. We become obese – with all the complications that can bring. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer – and all the others.

In everything we eat

How can we tell the antibiotics are in our bodies? How do they get there?

The give-away is our waistlines. We never used to be so fat. Not so many of us at once. It’s an obesity epidemic.

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Because you haven’t changed the way you eat, have you? You’re still the same as you always were. And the scary part is, you don’t eat all that much anyway – never have done. But now, like two-thirds of all adults in the UK, you’re suddenly fat.

Yeah, well. The antibiotics are in our food. Whatever it is, whatever we eat or drink – they’re in there.

They start in the animals’ food – added to their feedstuff to make them bigger, faster.

But here’s a thing. Animals don’t absorb all the nutrients they eat – some 80-90% of it is pooed out, Nature’s natural fertiliser for every living thing.

And we’re the same. We poo most of our nutrients out too. In China, human waste is prized as the best manure there is. But like the animals, we keep back more for ourselves than we used to – thanks to antibiotics.

The poo trail

OK, so follow the poo trail.

The poo becomes manure which is used for plant crops. Everything across the board – fruit, vegetables, grains – along with feedstuffs like soya and rapeseed.

The plants absorb the antibiotics, stimulating THEIR growth – bigger, faster oranges and apples, quicker wheat crops, higher yields.

Plus of course, the plants get fed back to animals, the antibiotics continue being dosed to them – even if the farmer has stopped adding them, to get ready for market.

Which means everything you eat, everything you drink, has antibiotics in it. The manure feeds the plants and antibiotics leach into the soil. They get into the water table, flowing into rivers and streams. Your milk, your tea, your beer has traces of antibiotics in it.

Every mouthful, antibiotics.

So guess what?

Yummy, yummy

You go out for a pizza, and it tastes terrific. Too big to eat another one, but you know you could. Your body processes it anyway, pulling out double the nutrients that it used to before. Good healthy vegetables, healthy cheese, whole-wheat base – where’s the junk?

Ditto for burgers, kebabs, wraps, tortillas -you name it.

Where’s the tartrazine or monosodium glutamate? Where’s all the extra sugar and fat? Seems junk food gets a bad name because it tastes nice. Nothing that rewarding can be good for you, it’s fattening.

Yeah, right.

Thanks to antibiotics, the REAL fattening is internal – your own gut bacteria on the fritz.

And there’s no escape. We’re all going the same way.

Not from junk food though. They could actually do you more good than you think.

Just don’t let the doom-mongers put you off.

Picture Copyright: andersonrise / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-07-20 15:14:20.

Death by antibiotics: choose quick or slow

Sick girl
Antibiotics – not the kind of lifesavers you expect them to be

No, no, not death that’s anything to do with your doctor.

If you’re on antibiotics right now, they’ll probably save your life. And your doctor is a professional, she knows what she’s doing.

Death sentence

Short term if you’re ill, antibiotics are a life saver. They also present us with the same sentence, though – impossible though it seems. Death by antibiotics is an uncomfortable reality.

Except the choice is largely ours – quick or slow, it’s up to us.

First the quick way. It could be days, it could be months – but if we’re careless or unlucky, death is only too possible.

Like, if you’re taking antibiotics and you don’t finish the course. Or worse, if you dose yourself with some left over from last time. That’s you, not your doctor – and it’s you who will pay the price.

Bam, bam hammer

Think of antibiotics like a great big hammer that bashes your infection – bam, bam, bam! – repeated heavy blows to clobber your illness out of existence.

So what happens if the hammer doesn’t hit enough times, or only gives one feeble blow? Which is what happens when you don’t take all the pills.

The illness isn’t beaten, is it? Not totally defeated, so it lives on. Picks itself up and restores itself to its former strength – like something out of Terminator – bacteria are very good at this.

With one very vital difference.

They now know the hammer is coming, and are ready for it – have sussed how to dodge it, or just tough it out. So the hammer does nothing. It is ineffective. The illness has become resistant and is now unstoppable.

So your Doc has to find another kind of hammer, or a sword, or a whatever – a new way to attack your illness to make sure it’s totally annihilated. Another antibiotic that is still effective, not resisted against by infecting bacteria.

Which is exactly how antimicrobial resistance (AMR) develops – a big problem for modern medicine right now. Pathogenic bacteria is not hit hard enough or long enough, so they survive revitalised to live another day.

With ongoing immunity to overcome being hit again. Unstoppable. And untreatable.

Bacteria win – again

So through your own actions, it could be the end of you. Especially if complications set in and your own body doesn’t have the strength to fight them off. Sorry, unless you’re lucky, death is going to happen.

Then there’s the slow way.

Not something that any of us might feel right now, but possibly even MORE inevitable.

Because it’s already on the go.

Down in our insides, our own gut bacteria – the ones that keep us alive and process our digestion among thousands of other things – have already been clobbered by antibiotics and are reacting out of control.

How can we tell?

Check your waistline.  How are you doing with the battle of the bulge?

If you’re like most of us adults, you’ve already noticed unwanted pounds piling on without you consciously knowing anything about it.

Not nice, overnight we’re fat – and getting fatter.

Not our fault. But not much we can do about it either.

Because that’s from residual antibiotics contained in the food we eat. From the 240,000 tons of the stuff that is fed to animal livestock around the world every year – vital veterinary support for the giant, super-intensive factory farms that supply us with meat, veg, greens, everything.

Huh?

Unfortunately all too true – and this is where it gets messy. Because modern farms are not the nice cuddly places we see in picture books. And the animals are not as happy either.

Stressed, crowded and in shockingly unhygienic conditions , without antibiotics, those animals would die. Instead, they grow and thrive with amazing accelerated development – fattened up by antibiotics to sometimes twice the size – and in half the time – the farmer’s double jackpot.

Fast food – from the farmer’s angle. Money in the bank, quick, quick, quick.

Except by eating that same food, with every meal WE’RE ingesting those same antibiotics too. With the same effect on our gut bacteria that they had on the animals. They promote growth, big time.

Our kids grow up faster – almost adults before they even hit their teens. And we grow fatter. And fatter. All too soon swapping Size 16 for the misery of Size 18.

Yeah, welcome to obesity – our latest world-wide epidemic, courtesy of antibiotics.

With one hell of a price to pay.

Being overweight is not healthy, our bodies can’t cope. So we start on the slippery slope of chronic illnesses – diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many others. Slow, debilitating and degrading afflictions that take decades to develop – long, miserable illnesses that all lead to death.

Can we ever escape?

Only by being as healthy as we know how.

If we keep ourselves clean and free of germs, washing hands whenever we think of it, infections can never get to us, we don’t need antibiotics in the first place.

Same thing if we eat healthy – switching to organic, stepping away from mass-produced foods to home-grown wholesomeness and nary an antibiotic anywhere near them, ever. Not easy, but it can be done – though you’re unlikely to be visiting your supermarket again.

Which means you don’t have to choose at all now. You should live long and healthy.

Sure death happens to all of us, but it’s reassuring to know. Live right and it’s only going to happen when it’s supposed too.

Picture Copyright: denisnata / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-05-26 16:10:11.

Fat and fatter: our hidden daily intake of antibiotics

Shocked dieter
Diet or no diet, everything is fattening – and you don’t even know you’re eating it

Yes, hidden fat-makers – in pretty well everything we eat.

Good, improving salads. Health-giving fruit. Ordinary everyday meat and two veg.

Not just the fast food pizzas and burgers.

Nobody knows

Hidden because we never even know they’re there. Ask your own doctor and you’ll get a blank look. Antibiotics are only on prescription. Fat chance.

Unfortunately, fat chance is right.

You see, there’s antibiotics in our food from the stuff that makes it grow. Just about any kind of fruit or veg in your supermarket is grown with fertiliser. Even organic food is grown from soil made fertile by rotating crops and using compost, manure and clover.

All natural stuff, right?

Well, yes. Except that just about all natural manure used by farmers comes from herds or flocks of animals that are regularly fed antibiotics. For their health and well-being is the official line – but it’s mostly because it makes them bulk up and grow faster.

And sure, on a modern high intensity factory farm, health is a huge issue. So many animals so close together, they’re impossible to keep clean – large numbers can get ill very quickly. And of course any kind of sickness goes through them like wildfire.

So the rule is, dose ‘em up and keep ‘em dosed.

Big bucks fatter

Meantime these same antibiotics they regularly get in their feedstuff is fattening them up and accelerating their growth. From egg to supermarket chicken roaster in five weeks. From calf to meat counter rump steak in one year instead of four.

Money, money, money.

Alongside the inevitable result that all the manure they produce is laced with antibiotics. The same stuff that fertilises the grass they eat, or the silage – and which used by other farmers to grow grain crops, vegetables and fruit trees.

By law, antibiotics added to feedstuffs are supposed to be withdrawn before getting ready for market, so there are no drugs in any animal’s system when they’re sold.

Zero ADDED, yes.

But those cows and sheep and pigs and chickens are still noshing food grown with antibiotics in the manure. Which is how come you’ll find chlortetracycline in onions and cabbages. Sulfamethazine in lettuce and potatoes.

There’s antibiotics in there anyway. Because plant crops ALSO get regular antibiotics – streptomycin for grain crops, oxytetracycline for fruit – to take care of blight and harmful bacteria.

Plus – you guessed it – to boost growth.

So like it or not – organic or regular – just about everything we eat is dosing us with antibiotics every day – JUST LIKE THE ANIMALS.

They get fat, we get fat

And just like the animals, we’re getting fat too – on account of how we’re animals, just like they are. Some of us kinda chubby, some of us definitely muffin-tops, and some of us with a serious avoirdupois problem. Twenty, thirty years ago, not an issue – today, with nearly 60% of us overweight or obese, it’s an epidemic.

Which means, sooner or later, it’s gonna get you too.

A few uncomfortable facts:

  • We all get a jump start because antibiotics are prescribed to us medically. Give antibiotics to children under two – and by the time they’re five, they’re 15% overweight.
  • Like magic bullets, antibiotics get prescribed for just about everything – from serious to trivial. By the time a teenager reaches sixteen, at least ten courses of antibiotics are likely to have been through their system.
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria – good ones and bad ones. Down in your gut, they’re like an atom bomb exploding through your natural gut bacteria. Your gut recovers, but it’s out of balance – and it never comes back to 100% the way it should be again.
  • Gut bacteria out of balance boost the fat cells in your body – the good kind and the bad kind. The good kind you can exercise off at the gym. The bad kind are there for keeps.
  • Being out of balance boosts ghrelin too – the “hunger hormone” that increases appetite. Think those cravings for gallons of Coke and boxes of doughnuts are the natural you? Your own gut is hyping your brain to pig out on them – the real you has no say.

Different strokes for different folks

If you’re not fat already, you might have a different metabolism – some people are always thin. Much more likely, your balance hasn’t been too badly affected yet – and your daily preferred food choice hasn’t pushed you over the edge.

Come down with a recurring condition that requires antibiotics and it could be another story – amoxicillin for sinusitis, say – repeated every few months because it won’t go away. Hello size 18.

What to do about it?

Watch what you eat, obviously. Indulgence foods and sugary stuff do you no favours.

As Dr Martin Blaser proved in his research with laboratory mice. One test group was given antibiotics and got fat. Another group was given fatty foods and got fat. A third group was given antibiotics AND fatty food and got VERY FAT.

But avoiding antibiotics in your food is not easy, unless you stop eating altogether – hardly a long-term solution.

One way is to grow your own veg – without fertiliser of course. The other is to eat fish, but not the farmed jobs – net-cage salmon are fed quinolones. Stick to the deep sea types – cod, haddock – without the chips though!

Then get off antibiotics – and stay off. Don’t insist on high octane power when you don’t need it – and only agree to antibiotics treatment if there’s no other way.

Which means don’t get ill. If you’re not ill, you don’t need medicine.

Which means avoiding germs. Keeping yourself safe and not looking for trouble.

Hype up your hygiene

Which means hyping up your hygiene. Washing your hands, before and after pretty well everything you do. Because your hands touch everything, including your food – and the sensitive areas round your eyes and mouth – germs favourite way into your body.

You can sterilise your surroundings too, so viruses and bacteria don’t get a look in. Mist up your workplace with a Hypersteriliser and germs are gone.

Don’t grief though if your clothes start feeling tight and you look a bit fuller in the face – it’s happening to all of us. An epidemic like the medics say, but not all your fault.

They won’t like it, but this one’s up to the farmers.

Picture Copyright: nicoletaionescu / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-02-08 16:26:51.