Tag Archives: growth boosters

Our latest ABC of cancer: all set to wipe us out?

Gllomy doctor
The ABC of antibiotics, obesity and cancer: one killer of a headache

It’s not the ABC they teach at med school. But they should.

Dead basic and deadly, it’s something we should all learn.

Because it’s written all over our kids for our refusal to take it in.

Written all over us too – in Large, Extra Large and Extra-Extra Large.

Especially when you say it in the way our little mites might.

“A” is for antibiotics… which cause “B” is for ‘besity… which causes “C” is for cancer.

Our miracle medicines trigger one of the biggest killers we have ever faced.

Don’t believe it?

We’d all better – before it becomes the death of us.

Not what we want to hear

Start with A, antibiotics.

Not as the miracle life-savers we’ve relied on to rescue us again and again.

But as the world’s greatest and most successful growth boosters. Used in agriculture by the JCB-load – to produce livestock bigger, faster and accelerate plant growth. 240,000 tonnes of it, every year.

How successful?

Phenomenal.

Back in the 50s, there were 2½ billion of us on the planet – survivors of two World Wars and the biggest flu pandemic ever – which killed more than both wars together.

That was when farmers first started using antibiotics. As amazing growth promoters. Incredibly fast fatteners. Mind-blowing money-makers.

If ever there was a miracle, this was it. From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From new-born calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years.

But now today, our numbers have swollen to a massive 7½ billion – THREE TIMES more of us.

Except the world itself of course, is still the same size it always was. Which means THREE TIMES more food is being produced off the same land as it was 60 years ago. A major miracle, yes – but nothing to do with saving lives.

All gut reflexes

The mechanics of it are simple.

Antibiotics in feedstuffs interfere with gut bacteria in livestock stomachs. They switch off the reflex that says when enough has been eaten. And more significantly, they cause the animal to absorb food more efficiently – extracting way more nutrients than the 20% they normally suck out.

Uh huh.

Which is triggering obesity, right? The ‘besity “B” in our alphabet.

The animal gets very big, very quickly – exactly as the farmer wants.

But unlike us, the obesity never gets any worse than achieving large size. Once they reach their selling weight, all the animals are trucked off to market.  Time to get eaten.

Their shorter existence experiences none of the miseries. The years of going downhill, always an effort to do anything, wheezing breath, sweats and flushes, faltering heartbeat, body organs failing under the strain – the unrelenting start of more serious conditions.

Asthma, diabetes, heart disease… cancer.

And there it is, the “C” in our simple ABC.

Cancer. The fate we can all look forward to – because we’re all of us exposed to antibiotics.

Our fate awaits…

Look around and you can see it. Already, two-thirds of adults are overweight or clinically obese.  So are one-third of children.

Some of it is triggered by antibiotics for medical conditions. Worried Mums and concerned doctors ensure most infants are probably prescribed them several times in early years.

All very responsible and properly motivated, except for one thing. Research is increasingly showing that children administered antibiotics before 2 years of age are often obese by the time they are 5.

So what about the rest of us?

Like it or not, we’re subjected to continuous antibiotic exposure with pretty well everything we eat.

Though meat on sale in UK is supposed to be antibiotic-free, this simply means that antibiotics have not been administered in feedstuffs over a specified period of withdrawal prior to selling.

Inevitably, however, there will be antibiotic residues contained within whatever animal feed is used – absorbed by plants from antibiotics-laden manure used as fertiliser, or extracted from the ground itself.

All animals, ourselves included, only absorb a proportion of the nutrients they eat. Most of them are excreted as waste, to become part of Nature’s on-going food chain for other living things.

A typical cow for instance, only absorbs 20% or so of the food it swallows. The resulting manure feeds all kinds of plant crops, enriches grazing grass, and leaches into the soil deep down into the water table.

As a result, sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics are everywhere throughout the food chain – occurring even in samples of water taken from the Thames. Whatever we eat or drink, we’re getting another dose.

Fatter and fatter

Which means we’re under exactly the same conditions as animals deliberately bulked up for market.  Unintentionally – and worse, without even being aware of it – we’re fattening ourselves up into obesity every single day, setting ourselves up for cancer or other major complications ten, twenty, or thirty years down the line.

Forget low exercise or pigging out on junk food – we were just as lazy and indulgent 60 years ago, before antibiotics. And as Lord McColl said recently in the House of Lords, we’re fat because we absorb too many calories, period.

So our real problem is digestive systems that absorb too much, glitched that way by regular doses of oxytetracycline, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, sulfamethoxazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin or whatever else it is that we’re swallowing with every mouthful.

Time to face facts. We’re all going to get fat, it’s just a matter of when – depending on  what we eat, in what proportion, and at whatever level our metabolisms are.

Antibiotics equals ‘Besity equals Cancer. No wonder children’s cases are on the up.

Simple ABC, yet how many doctors know it – or have even thought of it?

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-09-05 14:42:21.

Obesity and superbugs: our desperate denial of lethal antibiotic trigger

Girl blocks ears
We don’t want to hear – because who wants to know our glittering heroes are actually merciless serial killers?

Desperate because we don’t want to know. Denial because it involves antibiotics, our miracle life-saving drugs for the last 50 years.

Obesity and superbugs – caused by antibiotics?

Impossible!

Because antibiotics save lives, right? Brings us back from the jaws of death. Fix every little ailment whenever we run to the Doc. Turn us into invincible Twenty-First Century living beings. No illness is ever going to get us.

As if.

No longer the angels’ touch

The sad thing is, top medics are already know otherwise and are getting worried. Desperate even.

They’ve already made the connection with superbugs – antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cannot be treated. Unstoppable diseases already immune to our most high-powered drugs of last resort.

Check it out – both supposedly last-ditch fail-safes colistin and carbapenem  are starting to conk as bacteria get wise to them, mostly from over-exposure in the agricultural sector. There’s nothing more in the cupboard.

Fall ill from a simple paper cut now and it’s already possible that no medicine on Earth may be able to save us. Which means keep on with the Harry Casual, happy-go-lucky lifestyles we’ve become used to – and we’re all goners.

Yeah, so superbugs. MRSA, carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae and that lot.

Without antibiotics they wouldn’t exist – which means our best-ever, triple-whammy, cure-all drugs are increasingly useless. Or more realistically, they don’t give us any protection when we rely on them. We expect them to save us, help, help!

Fat chance.

Battle of the bulge

Which brings us to the obesity disaster. More desperate than ever.

Yeah maybe, just maybe, medics are starting to recognise that antibiotics MAY  be influential in causing obesity – particularly in children.

Meanwhile, it’s an inescapable fact that antibiotics have been shovelled into farm livestock in industrial quantities over the last 50 years – BECAUSE THEY STIMULATE AND ACCELERATE GROWTH.

In other words, they make them fat. Antibiotics are the Number One growth booster in food production all round the world.

OK, so remember all those scares about how food has got unhealthy preservatives, colourisers, stabilisers, flavour enhancers, too much sugar, too much salt, and all manner of bad things in them?

Pick up whatever you like off the supermarket shelf, modern foods are all laced through and through with antibiotics.

Uh huh. Every meal you eat, every mouthful, contains a sub-therapeutic dose of antibiotics in it – exactly the same growth boosters, administered in exactly the same way, as farm animals being fattened for market.

And we wonder how it is that two-thirds of our adult population are overweight or obese – and accelerating! Desperate de luxe.

Better, back in the day

Worse, we keep kidding ourselves that it’s from not enough exercise, too much junk food or other such rubbish – when all the while, we’re dosed to the gills with the world’s Number One growth booster.

Yes, rubbish. Back in the 50s and 60s, people platzed in front of the TV just as much as they do now – they weren’t stupid, it was cold out there.

They didn’t exercise either – gyms were for weight-lifting freaks, jogging hadn’t been invented and pilates classes weren’t even heard of.

Nor was diet much better. Where do you think our traditions of fish and chips, pies, or the Great British Fry-up all came from? Yeah, it was the War and desperate days of rationing and powdered eggs. But they had burgers and Coke too – just ask your grand-folks about Wimpy, the mooching greedy-guts from the Popeye cartoons.

But THEY WEREN’T FAT.

THEY didn’t chow antibiotics with every meal.

THEY didn’t eat the growth boosters because back then they didn’t exist.

But yeah, they had killer illnesses. Like TB, polio, pneumonia and flu – which in 1918 killed more people in six months than in both World Wars.

Just getting started – the slo-mo pandemic

A drop in the ocean today. Because THEY didn’t face the long-term misery of obesity and all the desperate complications – diabetes, heart disease, cancer, limb amputation.

Desperation stakes for sure – because ALL of us face them.

ALL of us ingest antibiotics in some form or other – a long-term phenomenon in meat, diary, vegetables, fruit, poultry, fish, cereals, grains, you name it – right across the food chain.

Except we’re all going to deny it to ourselves.

Our mind-set can’t accept it. Antibiotics are good – they save lives, they keep people healthy.

If only.

Because reality is, for all the good they appear to do, antibiotics are bad – they kill us slowly, they trigger illnesses we never had.

OK, so how many of us are going to die before we decide to get real?

Picture Copyright: vgstudio / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-08-31 14:07:37.

Antibiotics disaster: if AMR is life and death, obesity is Armageddon

Iceberg disaster

Who’s watch is it anyway?

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – AMR is just the tip of the iceberg.

We’re charging along at full speed in the dark, but who is keeping a lookout?

Hot on the heels of all the political hoo-hah this week, Jim O’Neill, Chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance is quite rightly sounding the alarm that AMR needs urgent action. Exactly per the recommendations of his Special AMR Review to the Prime Minister.

700,000 people will die this year from illnesses made untreatable by microbial resistance to antibiotics.

Growth boosters – from farm, to food, to you

But 40 times more will die from illnesses brought on by ballooning obesity accelerated by antibiotics in their food. 2.8 million from obesity itself, 1.5 from diabetes, 8.2 from cancer and 17.3 million from heart disease.

Almost a staggering 30 million.

Yes, antimicrobial resistance is a critical issue – identified by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sally Davies, as a threat on par with terrorism.

But it’s chicken-feed alongside our raging obesity epidemic – already visibly affecting two-thirds of all adults. Accelerating unstoppable from the growth boosting force of antibiotics now present across our entire food spectrum. Whatever we eat is making us fatter and fatter.

Fatness kills

Obesity is staring each of us in the face and the damage is already done. Five, ten or twenty years from now we will all succumb to the inevitable illnesses that our condition brings. Killed by antibiotics in far greater numbers than they ever actually saved.

Yes, it’s a disaster on a monumental scale – so great that the medical needs fade into insignificance. We need to get off antibiotics altogether – find an alternative before we all come to an end.

Yes, back to the Dark Ages where the drugs don’t work. Where surgery is almost impossible without a level of hygiene way above our sloppy habits of today. Our only defence against infection in a world without the miracle of antibiotics. Wash your hands or die.

Stop eating, stop living

Yes, away from the supersize factory farms that shovel antibiotics in industrial quantities into the billions of livestock needed to feed our 7½ billion mouths. Less food to eat, less and less and less – not just bringing our weight down, but our numbers too.

Back to the 2½ billion we used to be, before antibiotics exploded into our food supply.

Face it, two-thirds of us are going to die – whether we find an alternative for antibiotics or not. Because without their growth-boosting powers, there’s no chance we can sustain the food production levels necessary to feed us all.

Jim O’Neill describes the threat of rising AMR as a slow-motion car crash – an understatement against what antibiotics are doing across the board.

Maybe when the big numbers start dying, we’ll finally take notice. With antibiotics-driven obesity, we’re looking at the end of the world.

Picture Copyright: anterovium / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-07-15 13:59:51.

It took guts to dump the EU – now we need guts again to dump antibiotics

Fighting woman
Time to get tough and take hard decisions

Dump? As in “get rid of?” We can’t be serious, antibiotics save lives. We’d literally be dead without them!

We’ll be dead with them too – after long, slow, lingering illnesses.

Just like the EU – all milk and honey right now, but a disastrous train smash down the line.

Nobody wants to accept it, even our health gurus look like they’re in denial. But the evidence is shoved in our faces every day – antibiotics are a Jekyll and Hyde monster.

Because, yes, antibiotics do save lives. Modern medicine would be impossible without them. Miracles like heart transplants, hip replacements and caesarean births – sorry, can’t be done any more.

The mega-downside

It’s a hell of a lot to lose.

But a hell of a lot worse if we don’t dump antibiotics right now – and start actively hunting alternatives.

You see, while all the miracle-making has been grabbing headlines and saving thousands from certain fatality, the dark side of antibiotics has been creeping up, and is already threatening millions.

We need to dump them like the plague.

Which is exactly the kind of damage that antibiotics are doing. And it takes guts to realise it – because that’s where it’s happening – in your gut and ours, in everyone’s on the planet.

Down there, in our tummies, where digestion takes place. Low-profile background antibiotics at work. Not like the triple-whammy intravenous super heroes. Or the local dab-on-skin trouble-shooters.

Killers at work

Out of sight, out of mind, these guys are killers too – because that’s what antibiotics do, they kill bacteria. And by being in our tummies, they kill some of our own gut bacteria, the vital friendly kind that handle digestion, produce proteins, manage our immune systems and a thousand other chores.

They don’t just kill, they maim. Cause our bacteria to malfunction.

One thing they do is switch off our appetite control – we never know when we’ve had enough, so we overeat a lot of the time.

The other thing is to bump up food absorption – we extract more nutrients than our systems are meant to, making us fatter and fatter.

It’s not our food that does this – the burgers, pizza and chicken so many of us like so much. It’s the antibiotics IN our food – so we eat two helpings instead of one, with double ice cream afterwards, and a mega-Coke, just to be sure.

The proof is in our bulging waistlines – two-thirds of us are bigger than at any time in our history, already overweight or clinically obese – unwanted extra pounds that we’ve never had before.

Over-absorption

Demonised junk food maybe, but even our esteemed Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, has not totally rejected pizza. Just a nibble from a smaller portion perhaps – as recommended by the Department of Health.

A miniscule taste of spinach and mushroom on a whole-wheat base – no challenge at all to a slim and trim athletic figure. No, not pizza, not junk food, not couch potato lifestyle, none of the current bogeys.

It’s over-eating and over-absorption that’s the problem. With over-absorption sneaking up on an increasing number of us unawares. Which means Dame Sally is right when she identifies obesity as a threat on par with terrorism.

Actually, it’s worse. Several million times worse.

Terrorism plus-plus

It might be hard to believe judging from headlines around the world, but UK deaths from terrorism currently average the same as from bees, just 5 a year.   Yes, shockingly, world-wide terrorist casualties for 2014 reached a grisly 32,658 – about the same as Europe-wide road accidents.

Against that, obesity-linked diseases are projected at 38,500 new cases of cancer a year by 2035 – plus 4.62 million new cases of type 2 diabetes, and 1.63 million cases of coronary heart disease. That’s a staggering 7.6 million of us – roughly 10% of the nation – way worse than terrorism.

So how do we know it’s antibiotics that fatten us? And how do they get into our food?

Quite simply, from the 240,000 tonnes of antibiotics the world uses every year – around 70-80% of them shovelled into commercial farming livestock, to stabilise intensive factory-farm production AND perform as growth boosters.

For the last 50 years farming has been revolutionised by the phenomenal effect antibiotics have in accelerating growth in farm animals. Added to livestock feed in small doses every day, their performance is astounding. From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years.

All in the poo

But animals are only the beginning. Though they fatten up amazingly, they still dump around 80% of the nutrients they eat as dung.  Cow pats rich in nutrients, supplements, vaccines and antibiotics – which are all collected and used as manure – prized “all-natural” fertiliser for all kinds of plant crops – grains, vegetables, fruit, and of course feedstuffs.

So whatever it is we’re eating, “re-cycled” antibiotics are already in our food chain. Chomped down unwittingly in small doses with every meal, just like the animals. Proven growth boosters administered in exactly the same way – yet health authorities are either in denial, or don’t want to know, that they are the trigger for our obesity.

Obesity that becomes our death sentence – more and more of us crowding in on the NHS – fading from the scene, losing our grip, heading for a feet-first exit.

Like the plague

Yeah, dump antibiotics. Dump them like the plague.

Dump them before there aren’t many of us left.

Sure it takes guts, knowing that they can’t save us after an accident, or keep us alive in major surgery. We’ll just have to bump our hygiene to compensate. Give those germs less and less of a chance to get at us.

Even sterilise our environment to reduce illnesses picked up from each other – the flu that goes around the office, or something more serious – easy enough with a hydrogen peroxide mister.

We know that dumping wins.

We just have to keep at it.

Picture Copyright: fotofreaks / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-06-24 14:15:45.

Forget the EU, what’s your vote on antibiotics, keep or chuck?

Girl with voting options
The real choice is live or die – not worth risking a mistake

Careful how you vote, your life depends on it.

Antibiotics might seem like lifesavers now, but when all superbugs can resist them, they’ll be as useless as sugar pills.

Which is exactly how things are going, right now. Our two major antibiotics of last resort, colistin and carbapenem have already been compromised – it’s only a matter of time before antimicrobial resistance is total.

No more protection against infection. No more surgical procedures like heart transplants, hip replacements or caesarean sections. Get unlucky and you’ll die from a paper cut. Medics are uneasy about their vote.

So if antibiotics are already so far on the skids, why aren’t we already abandoning them for something better? Bacteriophages already look like a possibility.

Food to be fearful of

It’s even worse in agriculture. Where most of the 240,000 tonnes of antibiotics the world produces every year gets pumped.

The discovery that antibiotics boost livestock growth up to four times bigger and faster has revolutionised farming in the last fifty years. Massive factory farms now produce super chickens and super cows. From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years.

During that time, the world hasn’t got any bigger. Still the same amount of land to produce food on – the same rainfall, the same basic climate.

Population though has exploded three times over. From 2½ billion in the 1950s – to 7½ billion today.

All fed off the same land size – but from three times the number of cattle, three times the chickens, three times the sheep, three times the pigs, three times the salmon, three times the feed crops, fruit and vegetables – all thanks to antibiotics. Ask any farmer, he’ll vote for more.

And for the bulk-up, look no further than your own waistline. Not so svelte and trim, hey? We seem to have bulged a bit over the last fifty years. Ballooning up even faster over the last ten.

So big and so fast that medics are calling it an obesity epidemic – and scratching their heads why. Fatty foods? Non-fatty foods? Carbohydrates? Sugar? Junk food?

Mainlining on growth promoters

Meanwhile we’re oblivious to the glaringly obvious – that every meal we eat is food accelerated by the growth trigger of antibiotics. Every mouthful includes a further dose of the same booster that cows and chickens eat. We’re getting fat off the same stuff they do.

Which puts us about as far away from lifesavers as it’s possible to get. Among the killers at the opposite ends of the scale. Your vote might be in for a big switcheroo.

Because obesity has a price-tag. Continual strain on the body causes diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a slew of other debilitating diseases. Sentencing every one of us fatties to a slow and lingering deterioration and inevitable death – 38 million every year, half the population of Britain.

Yeah, so follow the chain. Antibiotics makes us fat, fat makes us unhealthy, a lot of us are going to die.

So where does your vote stand? Antibiotics: keep, or chuck?

Not much of a choice is it?

Not if you want to live.

Picture Copyright: iko / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-06-22 15:10:07.

Sorry Jamie, your Sugar Tax is complete nonsense

Dr NO
It’s not sugar, Jamie – you’re missing the point. We’ve got to stop antibiotics

You’ve got to respect Jamie Oliver.

A lot of talent, a lot of passion – and serious commitment to getting our kids onto a healthy diet.

You’ve got to admire his determination in pushing for a Sugar Tax too.

Something to fight for

Yes, our kids DO have too much sugar and pig out on junk food. Yes it is critical. And yes we need to do something about it.

But not a Sugar Tax – mainly because it won’t achieve anything.

You see, Jamie’s concern is that more and more kids are becoming obese – and that the wrong diet is bulking them up further – with all kinds of health problems threatening them in the near future.

Not wrong.

But here’s an analogy. A bath is filling up with water, it is going to overflow. But putting a tax on water is not going to stop it.

In our best Michael Caine accent, YOU HAVE TO TURN THE BLOODY TAP OFF!

Address the cause, not the condition. Ask the question why those kids are on such risky diets – and how come they got there in the first place. Because a lot of things about this issue don’t add up.

Check the numbers

For a start, UK’s actual consumption of sugar, salt, fat and calories has been DROPPING for decades – sugar down 16% since 1992 and calories per head down 21% since 1974.

But despite these plunging totals, average adult body weight INCREASED by 2 kg, simultaneous with a drop in sugar per head of 7.4% and calories of 4.1%. And that’s according to a report sourced from the Office of National Statistics, DEFRA, the British Heart Foundation and others.

Wha…? You want to tax these people when sugar levels are going DOWN!

As a result, the same report – THE FAT LIE by Christopher Snowden – puts the bulking up of our kids and increase in obesity across the board down to a decline in physical activity at home and the workplace – NOT everybody gutsing out on sugar and fatty foods.

A whole slew of research medics are up in arms about that. LIES! they say. Misreporting, say the more reserved of them. People are careless with the truth when asked about their obesity, they deliberately say they eat less than they do.

Now hold on a minute. People are very embarrassed by their fatness. It’s very visible – and they can’t get away from it. It is hurtful to talk about and there are many, many of them in despair because they actually eat like a bird yet still get fat. Somehow their bodies are absorbing more, extracting a higher volume of energy out of their intake.

Only natural

That’s not how it’s supposed to be, is it? The human body is a brilliant creation and in its natural state does not make mistakes. We are not normally fat, nor do we naturally become fat.

In nature everything is balanced, so if we’re less active, we eat less food – the system evens out. Even hunting animals which gorge themselves after a kill don’t get fat. They know prey is scarce and that life is peaks and valleys – feast, famine, feast, famine. You never see an overweight tiger.

Which means something is definitely wrong which has nothing to do with sugar at all.

Why does the body deliberately go for quick-hit power-charge foods – burgers, pizza and energy-boosting drinks – and then go in into stand-by mode to conserve its strength by lying down or sprawling in front of the games console, physically doing nothing?

Somehow the system is on panic alert. It is saying Emergency, Emergency, Full Power At the Ready, Now! Now! Now!

Phantom hunger.

System glitch – fake hunger

But there is no emergency. The bath is overflowing – but the tap is still full throttle. Somewhere there’s a system glitch. Because suddenly going athletic won’t fix things either. Run 5 miles a day every day and the weight might drop off. But ease back on the exercise and it comes right back on again – ask the girls in tears who don’t fit their wedding dress.

There is a glitch too – and doctors already know what it is. Leptin resistance.

Leptin is a hormone produced by the bacteria in our gut – our personal teeming colony of vital microbes that digest our food and regulate our immune system, along with thousands of other necessary tasks. It’s the tap to turn things off, the biological switch that tells our bodies we’ve eaten enough, it’s time to stop.

All of us have leptin, but for some people their bodies somehow override its instruction. They are still driven by their ghrelin, another hormone that is the appetite ON switch. POWER UP, WE’VE GOT THINGS TO DO.

OK, so what causes leptin resistance? Doctors are still going round the houses on that one, with no conclusive answers.

Right in front of us – the invisible villain

But there is one cause staring us in the face that nobody’s taking notice of. The elephant in the room. Ask any farmer what makes modern farms so incredibly able to produce so much full-volume food so quickly and you will get a cracked smile.

The miracle growth booster they all use is antibiotics – first discovered in the 1950s and now pumped into animals and crops round the world at the rate of 65,000 tonnes a year. From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 1 year instead of four.

Growth booster, huh?

Isn’t that what’s happening to us? Residual antibiotics in the food we eat gets into our gut – and we balloon up, just like Farmer Brown’s cows and chickens. And more antibiotics in the manure they produce gets into all the plant crops we eat as well. We’re on the same fatteners that the animals are.

And guess what? We’re animals too.

Uh huh. Now for our obesity system glitch. Antibiotics do one thing. They kill bacteria. A life-saver if you’re sick and have an infection, but not so good for normal healthy bodies. Because antibiotics are not selective about what they kill – they just go in, shotgun blast, and take out everything around them.

Actually, not shotgun blast, more like hydrogen bomb. Devastating among the 100 trillion bacteria in our gut that work to keep our system going. Whole families get wiped out, others go on the fritz, no longer able to perform their vital tasks. Like responding to leptin SWITCH OFF signals.

Not sugar, antibiotics

There’s the tap Jamie, that’s why the bath is overflowing. Nothing to do with sugar at all. It’s antibiotics we’re not even aware of – unknown, unregulated, unmonitored and unhealthy. Our own miracle lifesavers turned into fatteners that are slowly getting to all of us – two thirds of adults today, tomorrow even super-zealous weed-thin vegans.

And that’s why the Sugar Tax makes no sense in tackling obesity. It feels right, but it doesn’t even begin to address the CAUSE. If we’re going to tax anything it should be antibiotics – however did we let them get away from strict medical supervision anyway?

But even tax isn’t enough. We need to stop exposure to antibiotics altogether – both from medical emergencies and daily top-ups from the food we eat. And we need to do it NOW. Dose a toddler just once with antibiotics before the age of two – and by five they’re already visibly overweight.

All of which means we genuinely ARE going to go hungry.

Because back in the 50s before antibiotics, there were 2½ billion of us world-wide and factory farms were unheard of. Today we’re pushing 7½ billion people, yet land under farming is still the same size. Three times more people to feed, only possible by growth boosting from antibiotics.

If we go back to all-natural farming – no antibiotics, no hormones, no pesticides, no nothing – 5 billion of us are going to go without food.

Now THERE’S a problem Jamie. You’re the cook, how on earth are we going to get round that? Go to one of your restaurants right now. Order a burger – from personal experience it’s healthy, wholesome and amazing. Not junk food.

After that looks like belt-tightening.

Picture Copyright: zdenkam / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-03-10 15:30:15.

Hush! GM foods are back: to genetically modify you

Grabbing doctor
They’re gonna get you – GM foods – in fact they already have

Brace yourself. Genetically modified foods are back in town.

All over the headlines nearly 20 years ago. A big public outcry to get them off the market.

Genetically modified, see. To be immune to pesticides. So when crops are sprayed to get rid of weeds, the important plants aren’t affected.

Downside risk

Yeah, great. But how about the super-weeds that become pesticide resistant? Running riot, ready to take over the planet. And what about the dependant ecology – birds, insects, other plants – the whole biological balance?

And what do they do to us humans?

We showed them back then. 1999, it was. Together with the Daily Mail – guns blazing, run that stuff out of town. And we did, all consumers together. Told our supermarkets “No Deal” – we didn’t want any of that Frankenstein stuff.

Well guess what?

Just checking out this year’s National Farmers’ Union conference, they’ve showed up again. Digging by the Mail has exposed GM foods are back. In up to 80% of maize and soya fed to livestock that become the meat that we eat. Sneaked into our supermarket fridges by big money corporations with no questions asked. We pays the money, the retail chains keep schtum.

Yeah, bad news, the pits.

GM and worse

But squeaky clean alongside the ANTIBIOTICS you’ll find in the same food. Especially since those mega-buck conglomerates have no idea they’re there anyway.

Yeah, GM crops – we can probably live with them.

But genetically modified human beings – meaning YOU and everyone else on this planet – that’s seriously screwing with us. Because that’s exactly what antibiotics do long-term – screw up our genes, shake up our body balance.

Ever wondered why we’re all getting fat? Or why we’re getting sick more than we used to?

Thanks for nothing – from antibiotics. In the food that we eat – straight from the supermarket.

You see, they’re actually ADDED to livestock foods, like the maize and soya already GM cultivated – deliberately fed to animals to make them grow bigger, stronger and faster.

And animals have been fed that stuff for decades – generation after generation of cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry and even fish – fattened up for market in high density factory farms. Places so crowded, and hygienically iffy, those same animals NEED antibiotics to stop them falling sick in droves.

All in the poo

OK, let’s get basic.

Every farm animal – cows, sheep, chickens – makes poo. Tons and tons of the stuff – a major source of nutrients for all plant life. In fact the average cow probably pumps 80 – 90% of the stuff that it eats back out again – super-enriched food to make fertile manure.

Laced through and through with residual antibiotics.

Right, so follow the chain. The poo enriches grass for grazing – to be re-eaten by those same animals. More of the same stuff to bulk them up – the farmer’s rubbing his hands, although probably has no idea it’s there.

Because they’re in the grass, antibiotics residues are in the animals’ silage too. They get them with every mouthful, even though the farmer will withdraw antibiotics in their feed – for an elimination period required by law – before sending them off to market.

Plus of course, the poo gets collected for manure – which spreads antibiotic residues everywhere it’s used – including the GM farmed crops of maize and soya to be used as additional feed. So even though the animals are not receiving direct doses, they’re still mainlining with every mouthful.

It’s everywhere, it’s everywhere

The same manure of course, gets used everywhere else too – for fruit, grain and vegetable crops, everything. There are no laws or restrictions on its use, so it may even wind up being used to encourage growth of ORGANIC crops too. Organic crops thought to be pure, but containing antibiotic residues.

Oh yeah, and while we remember, antibiotics are widely used to boost plant growth too – sprayed on, mulched into the soil, or sometimes injected – and there’s no legal restriction on how that happens. They’re also used like pesticides – to control white spot, blight and leaf rot. More residues.

Since they’re in the soil, the residues leach down into the ground too, to be borne away by rainwater and runoff into the river systems. Which means there are antibiotic traces in our drinking water too – everything we eat or drink, right across the food spectrum.

Double-edged miracles

Now here’s the thing. We think of antibiotics as medicines, right? Miracle drugs that prevent and cure infection, protecting us from illness and disease. They do this by killing pathogenic bacteria, prescribed according to whatever the need is, to target treatment more effectively.

Not so bad if applied locally, to the skin or directly to a sutured area. But a real full-on drama if taken internally. Because as doctors are now starting to realise, our bodies are actually 90% bacteria and only 10% human – a mutual and harmonious partnership that makes us the amazing creatures that we are.

Down in our gut, where everything we eat eventually winds up, there are hundreds of trillions of bacteria – our microbiota – a diverse and carefully balanced community handling all kinds of functions, including digestion, protein production and regulating our immune system.

Pitch any kind of bacteria-killing antibiotic in there and it’s mayhem. Medicinal antibiotics might home in on specific pathogens, but a lot of other bacteria types inevitably get in the way. Residual antibiotics attack pretty well anything.

Wholesale murder

Bang, the end of carefully balanced harmony, the whole community goes out of kilter. Some whole species get wiped out, others are severely devastated. Not good for their basic defence system, which is to crowd invaders out by sheer numbers, impossible if half of them are missing.

Er, damaged gut bacteria. With damaged DNA. Unable to do what they’re supposed to do. Genetically modified gastrointestinal malfunction. Oh, sorry!

All kinds of things happen as a result, none of them positive. Yes, we might get rid of whatever bug we got our prescription for, but everything else is a downer. Plus there’s no coming back. Some bacteria resuscitate if their numbers are big enough. But the minor groups are gone for good – the system never comes back to 100%. Being genetically modified is a one-way street.

First to go is usually appetite control – and how many nutrients should be extracted from food. At worst, there are no limits, the body eats gluttonously, side-stepping the brain and indulging itself simply because it can.

More likely we wonder why the hell we start ballooning up, we’re not eating any more and we don’t normally guts ourselves anyway. Yeah, but the body absorbs more as it passes through – with our bacteria on the fritz, it squeezes out food value that much tighter. Check your poo – eating the same but passing less? It’s on your tummy and your thighs and your bum.

Uh huh. Exactly the mechanism that makes farm animals bulk up – only now it’s happening to us. Just one of the happy surprises that genetically modified means. Without controls, we pull out more food value than we should – and pile on the pounds big time.

Uber obese

Fat, fatter, obese – but it’s not all lifestyle. Devastating consequences though – type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma – and a lengthening list of other ailments, most of them slow, debilitating and ultimately fatal. Unless we realise what’s happening, we can eat ourselves to death.

And we’re already on the way. Check out Parliament’s own Obesity Statistics.  24% of adults in England are obese and a further 36% are overweight. Double the way we were in 1994 – when GM foods first pushed their way into our supermarkets – and farmers started ramping up antibiotics in animal feed, now at 324,000 tonnes per year worldwide and counting.

Want more proof we’re already genetically modified?

Well, since when did we develop all these sudden allergies, sensitivities and intolerances?

Some of them are because we grow up too clean these days – too little time as toddlers, eating dirt. Our immune systems are a combination of our inheritance from our mothers and what our bodies learn in our formative years, teaching our gut bacteria how to defend us.

Hmm, not so rosy any more. For a start, Mum’s own immune system is genetically modified from a lifetime of residual antibiotic damage – and probably under-powered from her own birth because HER Mum was genetically modified too.

Phantom ailments

On top of that, the world we live in has fewer challenges to even a generation ago. Major league killers like cholera and typhoid don’t exist any more – which means our immune reflexes sit twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do.

OK, so they invent something. And our high-powered defences over-react, chasing phantoms. We get a reaction, even plunge into life-threatening anaphylactic shock – coming down with asthma, eczema, hay fever, urticaria, coeliac disease, dermatitis, lactose intolerance, nut allergies and a million more – a three-fold increase on where we were back in the 70s.

Avoid antibiotics

Time to strike back. Pressure our supermarkets into rejecting GM foods – and antibiotics too. Go organic if we can. Avoid antibiotics like the plague – because they might save lives in the short term, but in the long run they’re killers.

Which also means stay away from germs wherever possible so that our weakened systems stand a better chance of survival. Only one way round that – wash your hands like your life depends on it (which it does) – and sterilise the area around you whenever you can with a Hypersteriliser. If there are no germs, you can’t get hit.

Yeah, genetically modified foods – at least they’re well intended, despite the side effects. Not like antibiotics – they’re about as helpful as being genetically modified with a baseball bat.

Picture Copyright: velkol / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-02-26 14:47:34.

GM foods? It’s antibiotics that really harm your gut

Cynical cook
How do you like it that there’s gut-ripping, balance-upsetting, body-fattening antibiotics in every mouthful you take?

GM foods don’t look like Frankenfoods.

In fact they look pretty normal. Switch to organic to avoid them yes, but why?

Yeah, we’re worried about them, but that hasn’t stopped us fiddling around with breeding things. Have done for pretty well always.

Messing with genetics

Rose-growers regularly do it to breed a champion variety. And look what we’ve done with dogs. No, that cute Jack Russell hasn’t evolved from wolves directly, it was bred that way. So was the Maltese poodle – and the Chinese crested dog.

Let’s be honest, humans have been meddling with how things grow for millions of years. So why all the hoo-hah about genetically modified foods when the meat and vegetables we’re already eating are dramatically different to how they were even 100 years ago?

And really, what’s wrong with wheat or maize that can withstand weeds, doesn’t rot when it rains, doesn’t get attacked by insects, and grows stronger and richer because of how it was propagated?

Ah, because now it’s additives and chemicals – and we worried about what they do. Tampering with DNA, our children are going to grow up zombies. And what about harmful antibiotic-resistant bacteria present in the same foods?

We swallow them, no telling what diseases we could end up with. We’re all going to die – ARGH!

Well, yes – except why haven’t we done it already? Pegged off and gone to the Happy Eating Place in the sky? No health hazards in paradise.

Which is really the issue, isn’t it? The possible health hazards.

Unseen, unrecognised risks

Believe us, they’re there alright, and way more dangerous than anything to do with GM. They attack our gut and whole body system, inflicting damage to affect us for years. Yes, they could kill us – and yet nobody really recognises they’re there – not the Food Standards Agency, not the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the British Medical Association, nobody.

Unregulated, uncontrolled, unmonitored, but present in nearly everything we eat – we’re talking about antibiotics.

Antibiotics doing damage? Better believe it. For a start they work by killing bacteria. Not so bad when they’re used against infections on the skin. But sheer havoc when they work internally in our gut.

As medics are now starting to take note, hundreds of trillions of bacteria live naturally down there. A harmonious partnership in which they do the heavy lifting of digestion, protein production and immune system control – while we look cool and do important stuff, like choosing which TV programme to watch next.

Enter, the killers

Drop in continuing mouthfuls of killer antibiotics and it’s like a series of mortar bombs going off – destroying whole families of vital bacteria with every hit – shrinking our gut diversity, massacring our valuable microbiota wholesale, leaving us less able to withstand attacks from other bacteria outside – often invincible because they’ve become antibiotic resistant.

Not what you thought antibiotics did?

OK, so the Doc prescribes them for whatever sickness you have and they go to work quickly to kill the bad guys – blow up their whole house and everybody in it. Along with the innocent folk next door on both sides and several places down the block, all the passers-by, and the several coach-loads of others in the street because it’s mealtime and there’s digesting work to be done.

Except we’re not talking about one-off medical doses here. We’re on about the constant onslaught of small amounts, the never-ending attrition of bacteria-killing antibiotics in everything we eat.

And we mean everything.

Our daily super-fatteners

For decades now, farmers have been adding antibiotics to livestock feed because it speeds up their growth – bigger, better in half the time.

And that’s on top of the GM-accelerated content in exactly the same feed  – which itself also has antibiotics in it from the 80 – 90% drug-laden residues pooed out as manure.

Still don’t believe it?

Here’s a study about antibiotics in maize and other crops used as animal feed, like soya. It demonstrates “that the antibiotic chloramphenicol occurs naturally in straw and maize. This antibiotic is prohibited in the EU for use in food-producing animals.”

Want more? This stuff is not just laced through from manure, here’s the FAO background on why maize among other crops is deliberately treated with oxytetracycline and streptomycin – control against white spot.

If you still want proof, look at your own waistline. Bigger is it, since 5 years ago? Heading steadily upwards to Size 16?

Don’t be surprised, with every mouthful we’re ingesting mini-doses of the same stuff that farmers use to make their animals bigger. We’re getting fatter because a regular diet of antibiotics is driving us to it – so that two-thirds of us are now overweight according to Public Health England.

Of course we are, we’re pigging out all the time on agriculture’s No 1 growth booster!

Not good for any of us

Which means we’re at risk from all the disorders that getting fat brings – type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma, take your pick.

Take a look at your own kids too. Like the rest us, they’re probably chubbier as well. And how about your daughter? Don’t you think it’s strange that she’s developing so early – a woman at 10 years old and already into puberty?

So, GM foods – are they really that bad?

Not alongside antibiotics, they’re not. And they’re not the reason for switching to organic, either.

Antibiotics are. And the sooner we switch, the better. To something all natural, we hope – no additives or whatever, grown with “uncontaminated” fertiliser.

Because like it or not, our food is killing us.

Picture Copyright: zurijeta / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-02-24 16:17:12.

Sugar tax? Shouldn’t we ban TV’s Bake Off first?

Doughnut girl
No wonder we’ve got cravings – every food programme on TV has enough sugar to sink a battleship

Vile stuff, sugar. Jamie Oliver says so, so it must be true.

Makes us fat, rots our teeth, turns us into porkers with our fingers and toes chopped off.

So of course we should tax sugar, stomp it out.

Criminal addiction

Like tobacco and smoking. Tax it out of sight, hide it from the public eye.

Ban sugar on TV too – all programmes, all advertising, everything there is. In movies and magazines too. Hide sugar products away in the supermarket and double their prices.

Ban sugar on TV? Sure, all those cooking programmes – cakes and puddings and things. To a nation of obese and recognised sugar addicts – a very bad influence. Bad, bad, bad.

Chop the lot

Which means, in popularity order, that we should axe The Great British Bake Off, Nigella Lawson, Masterchef, Saturday Kitchen, Heston Blumenthal, Great British Menu, Nigel Slater, Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver and Come Dine With Me.

Oh, and anything to do with jam-making – the vilest of the vile. A wicked past-time that even our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Dame Sally Davies, has fallen prey to – her “energy-making” therapy.

Just why is it so bad? Loaded with sugar through and through – according to the BBC’s online Good Food site – “… to qualify as proper jam, the finished product should contain 60% sugar.”

Good Food! 60% sugar!

60% sugar – when a 1.75 litre bottle of regular Coke contains ONLY 16%!

Jam should carry a health warning. Shocking! Scandalous! Write to your MP immediately.

Non-tax nonsense

Because you can buy TWO 1.75 litre Cokes in the supermarket for £2. Or FOUR of the supermarket’s own brand for the same price.  But you can buy own brand strawberry jam for just 29p – nearly 40 times the sugar hit, for less than 15% of the price.

So what kind of a tax is going to stop anyone? 500%? 1,000%?

Get real.

The mark-up on a medium-sized Coke at your local Odeon bughouse is more than that already

Just who is kidding who, here?

And that’s not even thinking about the level of sugar in ordinary foods, prepared meals and the like.

All sugar and sweetness

Meanwhile Bake Off goes on and on. Sugar in your face, programme after programme. Like Nadiya Hussain’s winning birthday cake recipe? 175 grams of caster sugar – 35 teaspoons. PLUS 500 grams of icing sugar – 100 teaspoons. 135 teaspoons altogether.

Yes, congratulations to Nadiya, but what about us poor addicts?

Sure, sure, it’s bad and something should be done – but is ANYONE addressing why so many of us have a sweet tooth? That our sugar cravings are so severe? And is ANYONE doing anything to stop these cravings – instead of flying off to Bermuda on the sugar taxes we have to pay?

A joke, right? As John Belushi demonstrated in his TV doughnut sketch. Reality upside down.

Uncontrolled cravings

Because the truth is, we have little or no control over the foods we crave, our body does that without us ever even thinking about it. A hormone called ghrelin does the trick, pumped out by the resident bacteria we all have in our gut to take care of digestion.

OK, so the ghrelin says gimme, gimme, gimme, sugar, sugar, sugar.

Why?

In a healthy body, that isn’t supposed to happen. We eat, we have enough, our gut bacteria tell us to switch off. Finished eating, we’re satisfied.

Uh huh. So something’s wrong. And something’s wrong with a lot of us, because more and more of us are getting fat. Our gut bacteria are making mistakes – not turning off when they’re supposed to – and extracting TOO MUCH nutrition from the food we eat as well.

Uh huh, part two. And what could possibly skew our gut bacteria so wildly out of kilter that the whole system tilts out of balance, like some madman running amok?

Wonder drugs, ultra thugs

Simple, simple. What kills bacteria? No less than the miracle wonder-drugs of our time – antibiotics.

OK, so we take them for some infection or because we’re having an operation. Down in your gut, the harmful bacteria get killed alright – so do a lot of innocent bystanders, the beneficial bacteria that keep our bodies in good order.

And they’re not just in medicines.

There’s antibiotics in most of the food we eat too. Growth boosters given to livestock to make them bulk up bigger and faster. Given to plant crops too, for the same reason.

And the same thing happens to animals as happens to us. Their gut bacteria are out of balance from the antibiotics in their feed, their ghrelin equivalent doesn’t stop producing. So they eat themselves stupid – noshing all the time from habit, as there’s not much food value to be had out of grazing grass.

But they’re not grazing grass any more – not most of the time. They’re mainlining on boosted feedstuff that puts their gut bacteria on turbo, their bodies are full of it.

They eat that, we eat them, we get fat too – it’s not rocket science.

But for some reason, all our celebrity chefs and nutritionists are running round like chickens with their heads chopped off, shouting that we should tax sugar.

Yeah, we should get serious about cutting down sugar intake.

But we should also get serious about how we do it. Taxing the supply does nothing except push the price up.

So? It’s more expensive. But everything always goes up – money is not affected by gravity.

Better to reduce demand. Get our bodies to ask for less, problem solved.

Get off the pills

Which means GET OFF ANTIBIOTICS.

Unless it’s life-threatening, avoid them like the plague. Because that’s what they are in the long-term – fat becomes obese, becomes type two diabetes or heart disease or cancer – a nasty slow-motion car crash over the next twenty years. The Black Death killed in days, antibiotic damage kills in decades, none of them pleasant.

And just what the hell happened to proper TV programming in prime time anyway?

Cookery? Soaps? Dancing?

Back in the day, that was mid-afternoon gap-filler, padding to get through the nothing. Balanced evening viewing was Western, private eye, Western – the way life is supposed to be.

Which means we’re already paying a sugar tax, like it or not. All those sweet, syrupy programmes – not worth the licence fee.

Time to get out more and do some exercise. TV is not good for your waistline either.

Picture Copyright: jayfish / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-02-22 17:17:50.

Hey, sugar-taxers! Obesity starts with antibiotics

The Fat Pill
Running to fat starts with antibiotics – sugar just keeps it going

So we need a sugar tax, huh?

To stop our kids getting obese.

Hell, to stop ourselves getting obese, because two thirds of us are.

Good idea, if sugar is the cause.

Uh huh, but before we go galloping off, here’s a few questions.

Because just maybe there’s a bigger threat out there than sugar. Active and alive – with a proven ability to bulk up bodies fast – to twice their weight and more in half the time.

Obesity perspective check

Are we naturally fat? No.

Are we meant to be fat? No.

Were we always fat? No.

Were we fat in the 1950’s? No.

Were we fat in the 1990’s? No.

Didn’t we have Snickers and Mars bars in the 1990s? Yes.

Didn’t we have Coke and Pepsi and Lucozade in the 1990s? Yes.

But we weren’t fat in the 1990s? No.

Sure? Yes.

And we’ve ballooned up since then? Yes.

But don’t all those things have sugar in them? Yes.

So why does sugar make us fat now, but not in the 1990s? Er…

Let’s just back up a bit

We’re not naturally fat, are we? And we don’t naturally puff out from sugar, even though a lot of us have a sweet tooth, do we? Sure, there’s exceptions – those unfortunate people whose bodies have a disorder that makes them fat. But most of us are quite normal – fat has never been an issue, until now.

So what’s changed? Is there some kind of super-sugar that is making us fat?

How come only in the last twenty years? And how come it’s snowballing?

Whatever it is must be a pretty powerful growth booster.

Damn right.

How do you like accelerating from an ordinary chicken’s egg to a 1.5 kg supermarket roasting chicken in six weeks? Or a calf maturing to a full-size Aberdeen Angus beef steer in one year instead of the usual four?

Easy-peasy too. Add virginiamycin to poultry feedstuff  and bambermycin to beef cattle’s.

Yup, you’ve got it – antibiotics both of them, the kind that farmers have used increasingly for the last twenty years. Triple whammy growth boosters de luxe.

There’s a whole slew of antibiotics that get used in agriculture – from boosting animal growth, to keeping up health levels in intensive factory farms, to enhancing plant growth and preventing blight. 65,000 tonnes of them every year – increasing to over 110,000 tonnes in the NEXT twenty years.

Which means there’s a whole slew of antibiotics in everything we eat – never mentioned or even thought of alongside additives, preservatives and all the other usual things we’re worried about. They’re even in organic foods too.

Because it’s not just stuff that gets fed DIRECTLY to livestock or plants. It’s RESIDUAL antibiotics spread across the whole spectrum of food types – via manure from accelerated cattle used to fertilise crops or enrich grazing lands.

It even finds its way into groundwater and river systems, so that pretty well everything we eat or drink has antibiotics in it – proven high performance growth boosters right across our entire food chain.

Slightly more significant than sugar at causing obesity. And way more serious.

All in the balance

Because a normal healthy body naturally maintains its correct sugar levels. Gut bacteria absorb what they need and excrete the rest – along with all the nutrients surplus to requirements. Only the right amount gets extracted, the rest becomes waste just like other animals.

Which is why manure is so fertile – and human manure is the most fertile of all. An icky thought for Western minds, but known and used by Chinese farmers for centuries.

Let the system get out of balance though and all kinds of disorders set in – obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease – life-threatening all of them.

Out of balance, out of control

And it’s antibiotics that upset the balance.

You see antibiotics work by doing one thing – killing bacteria. And the whole body balance is achieved by gut bacteria – over 100 trillion microbes that are maybe the most important part of us altogether – the active living life force that keeps us going.

OK, so the Doc prescribes an antibiotic for a condition you have – say amoxicillin for your sinusitis. You swallow the capsule, it goes down to your gut – with an effect like an exploding hydrogen bomb.

Sure it clobbers the streptococcus pneumoniae, haemophilus influenzae, and moraxella catarrhalis that are probably causing the problem. It targets several billion others besides – beneficial bacteria normally resident, that regulate all kinds of body functions. Yeah the infection’s dead – but injured and out of balance, things start to go wrong with the survivors.

Some tribes of bacteria are lost altogether, so you might lose an immunity or pick up an allergy. Others are damaged and behave erratically – possibly the reason why antibiotics are so successful at triggering weight gain. Bacteria that control appetite produce two types of hormone – ghrelin to stimulate and leptin to diminish.

Don't Eat Sign
The body’s appetite control –
leptin for STOP and ghrelin for GO, GO, GO!

When the ghrelin keeps producing, hunger does not switch off. Eat, eat, eat, cravings develop. More, more, more, a compulsive addiction. And it’s not just the eating. The body greedily grabs more nutrients from the food it gets, more than it should – out of balance, the system bulks up.

It also goes for the foods that accelerate the process – sugary fatteners, high-powered junk food – OK in moderation but supercharged in bulk. Deep fried Mars bars, here we come.

Worst of all, these days many of us get a jump start – antibiotics administered before we’re even two. Start early like that, for whooping cough or pneumonia, and guaranteed infants will be overweight by the time they reach five.

Uh huh, and the damage done by antibiotics cannot be reversed. If a particular class of bacteria is destroyed, it’s gone for good – no more protection, no more specialist ability. Others which are depleted may breed themselves back – but you will never be the same again.

And all the while – drip, drip, drip – the daily assault goes on. Every sip, every mouthful – making us weaker, less resilient, more prone to infections – fatter.

Make no error, sugar abuse is bad and we need to fix it. But the cause is worse and an illness in itself – an uncontrollable addiction.

If you tax heroin, would it stop junkies?

So what are we doing taxing sugar?

Come on guys, we got to stop taking antibiotics.

Yes, they’re lifesavers – but they’re killing us too.

Picture Copyright: dragon_fang / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-02-11 15:32:03.