Tag Archives: gut bacteria

Five reasons why antibiotics are suicide

Doctors eyes
Yes, we know antibiotics are life-savers, but they work by killing

Doctors already know antibiotics are killers.

That’s what antibiotics do, they kill bacteria. Hopefully whichever strain it is that’s making you ill.

But inevitably they kill other bacteria as well. The good bacteria unluckily alongside. Antibiotics don’t know how to tell the difference.

Working with killers

So be aware, when your doctor prescribes antibiotics, she knows she’s prescribing a killer.

A pretty momentous decision when you realise that our bodies are more bacteria than human. We might think we’re in charge, but it’s the 90% bacteria colonised inside us that call the shots.

Which means that clobbering a few million bacteria unintentionally might be more hazardous than it seems. Collateral damage with sometimes serious consequences. Suicide option 1.

Gut bacteria usually take the hit, so that’s where the trouble starts. How many of us haven’t complained of nausea or diarrhoea while taking antibiotics?

Sometimes it’s worse than that – and unexpected. Torn Achilles tendon (levaquin), mood instability (fluoroquinolone derivatives), bruising and bleeding (augmentin) or eczema, wheezing, and asthma in children under two (all types).

Not good, when you remember that gut bacteria are there to process digestion, create proteins, regulate the immune system and many other functions.

Gut damage

Then there’s the damage you can’t see, but there’s plenty of evidence.

Antibiotics somehow suppress the control that tells us when to stop eating (leptin hormone). Even more critical, they cause the digestion bacteria to extract more nutrients from food than they should. Energy is over-absorbed instead of passing as waste, so the body stores it as fat.

The slippery slope to obesity. Suicide option 2.

Yes, the gut recovers from an antibiotic hit – likened by some researchers to releasing a hydrogen bomb. But it never comes back 100% to the way it was.

Some bacteria types can regenerate. Others, the rarer kind, might disappear altogether – and whatever their function was, is lost. Which seems to be what happens with putting on weight. Obese people find it next to impossible to get the weight off – their stomachs are jammed at full throttle.

Boosted weight gain

Which explains why antibiotics are used as growth boosters in agriculture. In quantities that boggle the mind. 240,000 tonnes a year currently and set to rise nearly 70% in the next 15 years.

The growth boosting and weight gain is truly phenomenal. From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks – or from new-born calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years. All achieved by low sub-therapeutic doses added regularly to animal feed.

Which means we get the same low dose of growth boosters as well. We eat them, we ingest the antibiotics in their systems – even though antibiotic additives are withdrawn from feed by law for a set period before going to market.

They’re still laced with them because their bodies work the same way ours do. Remember how antibiotics make our stomachs over-absorb nutrients? Well most livestock animals only absorb around 20% of the food value they chew.

The rest is excreted as manure – to enrich the soil and be taken up by plants. To leach down into the water table too, out into our rivers and into our water supply. And folded back to the animals in the grass they graze, or the soy, maize or whatever in their feed.

In everything we eat

Which also means everything we eat or drink is laced with antibiotics too – meat or veg. Some of them added to boost plant growth and control blight – but most ingested directly or indirectly from the fertile soil.

Waiting for us to come along and innocently nosh it, thinking that a vegetarian diet will save us from the perils of eating meat.

Which brings us back to obesity – if not already triggered by medicine, then activated drip-drip, by the daily intake with every meal. And it’s happening too.

Look around. Already two thirds of UK adults are overweight or obese – and a third of children. The fat epidemic is upon us – quite independently of pizzas, burgers and sugary drinks. Keep up there, Jamie – this is important.

And what does obesity bring? A long, slow decline as the body subsides into complications – asthma, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer. A one-way ticket to long term misery. Suicide option 3.

Doctors recognise the epidemic – a time-bomb set to swamp the NHS as us fatties deteriorate into long-term repeat patients. They’ve got their hands full with a more immediate crisis though – antimicrobial resistance.

Rise of the superbugs

The miracle live-savers we trust antibiotics are, are fast becoming useless as bacteria adapt and become immune – turning into superbugs. Right now, today, there’s hardly a drug in the cupboard that bacteria haven’t found a way to resist.

MRSA, acinetobacter baumannii, CRKP, e.coli, ESBL, NDM-1, pseudomonas aeruginosa, streptococcus are all bugs that have learnt – and create genes that teach other bugs how survive too. Suicide option 4.

Which means, when you come down to it, that all antibiotics are only temporary. They might last two years, they might last ten. But sooner or later, bacteria will learn how to survive whatever we throw at them – and we’ll go back to being vulnerable.

Because you can’t beat bacteria. Don’t forget, we’re 90% bacteria ourselves. And they’re the most successful life form the world has ever seen – learning to survive for billions and billions of years – among the very first living things.

So the big thing that doctors are worried about is when ALL antibiotics fail altogether. Because then modern medicine falls apart. No more heart transplants, hip replacements or caesarean births – we’re back to the Dark Ages, our failsafe is gone.

The day when that happens is hurtling towards us too. With animals gulping down 240,000 tonnes of antibiotics a year, bacteria are getting plenty of opportunity to try, try, try until they succeed at finding a way to survive them. Superbugs are on the rise.

So ban antibiotics

Big pressure is mounting, among doctors and health gurus, to have antibiotics banned from agriculture altogether. Fat hope of that – quite literally.

Thanks to antibiotic growth boosters, world population now is THREE times the size it was since they were first introduced. So is food production – off the same-sized planet. Banning them would cut food production, triggering worldwide famine and two thirds of us would die from starvation. Suicide option 5.

Just possibly though, bacteria will do the job for us.

Antimicrobial resistance doesn’t only sick superbugs on humans. It sicks them on animals too. Our miracle drugs will stop working on them, same as us. So they will die anyway. And world famine will happen just the same.

Because you can’t beat bacteria, it’s like beating ourselves. We’re 90% bacteria anyway, so even trying it is suicide. A demonstration that if we can’t do things naturally, we will get zapped.

There’s too many of us anyway, so this is Nature correcting a speed wobble. Chop the numbers, we read you – and we got the email.

We’ve had the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, the super-volcano of Yellowstone, the Black Death, two World Wars, the global flu of 1918 – now it’s time for suicide.

Stay healthy!

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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?

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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.

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Antibiotics are becoming like terrorists with nukes – AMR is just a sideshow

Sniper
Know your enemy! Antibiotics are set to kill more of us than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined

We don’t see terrorists coming. We don’t see the dangers of antibiotics either – both of them set to nuke us when we least expect it.

A terrorist bomb might take out a city the size of Greater Manchester – thousands dead, hundreds of thousands more facing years of radiation sickness – like being dead before it actually happens.

Antibiotics are no prettier.

An invisible war

Because to the trillions and trillions of beneficial bacteria in our own gut, nukes are exactly what antibiotics are. Evil invaders who only want to destroy. Mass killers.

Imagine Greater Manchester, millions of times over. That’s what life is like down there in our insides, more bacteria than there are human cells. Reality is, we’re a harmonious, co-existing  miracle that’s 90% germs.

Now comes an oral dose of antibiotics – amoxicillin, say – prescribed for some troubling ailment, often unnecessarily. Trillions and trillions of microscopic but benevolent bacteria – versus 250 mg of devastating nuclear destruction.

A massive chunk of your gut, nuked to nothing.

You’re right. The medicine might clobber whatever the problem is – but the body will never return to exactly the way it was. Too many innocent bystanders caught in the fallout. Billions killed, vital diversity reduced. The system is not as strong as the way it was, no longer as all-round resilient.

Resistance movement

But there are survivors. Maybe a bit damaged, or not fully functioning – but wise to what antibiotics are capable of, and aware of what they need to do to escape. Next time, even more will endure. And even more after that.

Until the day comes that an antibiotic hits the gut, and our bacteria are impervious. Even to nukes.

Nothing happens.

Our bacteria have learned how to resist the drugs – even shared their survival skills with others, so all of them are immune. Antimicrobial resistance it’s called – AMR. Wish we could have the same resistance to terrorists.

Except big-scale calamities are not usually the way terrorists work, are they? 9/11 doesn’t happen every day.

More effective – and more insidious – are the little attacks that do. Happen every day, that is. Always there, never letting up, determined to bring us down, little by little. Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan theatre, Brussels airport.

The real killers

Exactly like antibiotics do.

Better believe it.

Because without our even thinking about it, we’re swallowing down antibiotics into our gut little by little with every meal.

In the milk with our corn flakes. In the oats for our porridge. In our bacon and eggs. In the chicken for our sandwich, and the lettuce with it. In the bangers and mash for tea, including in the baked beans.

Little hand grenades in our gut, or letting loose with a machine pistol. Nothing serious, but always damage. Little bits of us that suddenly aren’t working any more.

How is this possible?

We-he-hell.

Growth promoters

It all started back in 1946, when a researcher named Moore discovered the growth stimulation of antibiotics fed to chicks. A colleague named Jukes reached the same conclusion in 1952 – feed small amounts of antibiotics to livestock every day, and they bulk up like crazy.

Money, money, money. Fat, fatter, fattest.

And did we mention money?

Today, 240,000 tonnes of antibiotics are pumped into farm livestock every year.  Bigger, better, fatter than ever – and more of them. Enabling our own human world population to explode from 2½ billion in the 1950s, to 7½ billion now.

And of course, all these animals poo – excreting, would you believe, more than 75% of the nutrients they consume – including the antibiotics. “In 2002, 185 million swine sold in the US generated about 280 million tons of fresh manure; in 2006, chicken produced even more (460 million tons), while, in 2007, beef cattle produced 3.6 million tons of manure.”

Manure, huh?

Knee-deep in trouble

Used as fertiliser for all kinds of agricultural crops – fruit, veg, cereals, grains. And of course feedstuffs for livestock – so that farm animals re-eat the same antibiotics they ate before, with the same effect.

They keep getting fatter and fatter, growing faster and faster – and making more and more money.

Must be tough, being an antibiotics manufacturing company. 240,000 tonnes of stuff turned out by machine ka-chunk-ka-chunk, no effort, no investment – just keep rolling and take the money. No need to invest in new research, the goldmine is already working overtime.

Need proof? Just check your own waistline.

Bigger than it was, huh? You didn’t always wear a Size 16.

But look around, it’s not just you – this is a world-wide epidemic. Two-thirds of us are already way overweight or positively obese. All thanks to the same trigger that makes farm animals fat too – antibiotics.

Whatever food we ingest, antibiotics are in there somewhere. Directly in the food, or absorbed from manure-enriched soil, or leached through into our river systems so even the water we drink is spiked. Antibiotics pollution.

Too big for our own good

Result: obesity is a condition we’re all of us beginning to share – and no way is that healthy.

In fact it’s deadly.

Check the numbers and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – which means illnesses that cannot be treated by antibiotics – kills about 50,000 of us a year.

But obesity works like the terrorist’s nuclear bomb – wide-reaching, slow-acting, with extreme pain and suffering. The equivalent of radiation sickness – attacking our bodies in the form of diabetes, heart disease, cancer or worse – killing 30 million of us or more every year, and climbing all the time.

Yup – long-term, obesity is going to get most of us. Looking forward to 20 years of medicines, time off in bed, hospital visits, and feeling more and more unwell – more pressure on the NHS than any of us could ever imagine.

Two-thirds of adults – world-wide that’s around 3 billion people.  Which kinda makes deaths from AMR look like chicken-feed.

Worse than any terrorist, nuke or no nuke. Worse than any threat we’ve ever faced before – including plagues and world wars.

Is there a solution?

Stop, stop, stop

Short term, eat only organic or ocean fresh – and drink only rainwater.

Long term, STOP USING ANTIBIOTICS and find a replacement.

Anything less and we might as well nuke ourselves.

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Sugar tax, yay! Now let’s watch obesity accelerate

Overweight and pigging out
Think fat people WANT to be fat?
Hey Jamie, wait till you’re a Size 18 too.

Congratulations Jamie, congratulations all, sugar tax is going to happen.

All those nasty drinks that everyone hates so much are going to go up in price, people will a stop buying, everyone will get thinner, yay!

As if.

Just like cigarettes

Exactly like they did when a packet of fags cost 7/6 in old money – £10 and more now, more than 25 times times the price. Because smoking is BAD, yeah? So look at the keep-fit celebs secretly puffing away to maintain that super-trim bod. Are we back to the dark days of using cigarettes to reduce weight?

Yeah, but sugar tax works. Look at Mexico. The sugar tax there cut sales by 12%.

Like wow.

Cut SALES by 12%, NOT obesity. Seriously clever.

The highest rate of overweight people in the world and an estimated 10 million with diabetes. Sugary drinks BAD. But nobody ever asks WHY so many people are drinking the stuff.

Muddied waters

Know much about Mexico? A hot country, right? A lot of it desert, or semi-desert. Dry, dry, dry – the definition of arid. Tropical temperatures. Not a place to get thirsty. Keep yourself properly hydrated, or die.

Ah yes, and how about the water? Until a few years ago, to be avoided like the plague. Full of noxious organisms and bugs – instant illness. As the Kingston Trio sang in Coplas back in 1958 – tell your parents not to muddy the water around us, they may have to drink it soon.

OK, so they chlorinated it – heavily. So if the pipes aren’t too rusty, maybe you can drink it – if you can stand the taste. Oh, and the local bottled water tends to be ropey too.

Hmm, so a lot of Mexicans reckon it’s safer to drink Coke. The Coca Cola Company has a lot to lose – and it’s easier trust a big Americano company with something when you take the cap off yourself.

So you’re Mexican, you drink Coke and you’re fat. Never touch the water. But you’re not writhing on the ground with stomach cramps – and better believe it, try a hot taco with enchilada sauce you’ll know that Mexicans have cast-iron stomachs.

And they’re obese anyway, including those who don’t drink Coke. But they’re not stupid either, they know the sugar connection. So aside from the big thirst of a dry country, WHY do their bodies crave sugar to such levels?

Why does ANYONE’S body crave food that it knows is not right and in such excess?

Wrong body language

Something’s wrong, right? Because we might not be Mexicans, but our bodies aren’t stupid either. Most of the time the benign and absolutely vital bacteria in our gut tell us what we need and our bodies react according – the brain is hardly even consulted.

Yet obese people crave super sweet drinks and high energy foods like they’re preparing for a major physical challenge in Arctic conditions, even though there’s no sign of one. The body is getting mixed signals, why?

Those vital gut bacteria produce two crucial hormones, ghrelin and leptin – the on/off control for the body’s appetite. In obese people, the ghrelin switch is jammed ON and the leptin switch for OFF is not recognised because something has glitched the bacteria.

So what glitches bacteria? Not sugar, that’s for sure. The bacteria digest it with no trouble, but absorb way more than they ever should without ever signalling STOP, SATISFIED. They’ve become leptin resistant.

No, not sugar. Between Jamie and Westminster, they got it all wrong. Because the one thing DESIGNED to kill and damage bacteria that ALL of us are regularly dosed with is antibiotics.

Guaranteed obesity

Antibiotics? All of us?

Oh yeah. Antibiotics before two years old, overweight by five. And average teenagers today have been through at least twenty courses of medicinal antibiotics by the time they reach majority.

But that’s not even the half of it. Kids, teenagers, adults, we ALL ingest residual antibiotics from the food we eat. And guess what? Two thirds of us are overweight.

Because farmers have been using antibiotics to BOOST GROWTH of plant and livestock crops for the last 50 years, ramping up particularly in the last two decades with advances in factory farms and intense production methods.

Boost growth. That means MAKE FATTER.

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 worldwide, farmers are currently using antibiotics at the rate of 65,000 tonnes a year to make this happen. They’re guaranteed to work for billions and billions of animals, why not us?

65,000 tonnes a year to make us fatter – because they’re in the food we eat – unchecked, unregulated and unhealthy. A bigger trigger than sugar could ever be. Pumping us up, even though many of us DON’T have a sweet tooth.

Like how many fat people do you know who eat almost nothing, exercise like crazy, but still stay fat anyway?

So yeah, a sugar tax to fight obesity. Brilliant. Cart before the horse and all that rubbish.

Come on, Jamie, get with the programme.

Because we’re all going to look pretty stupid when the tax comes in and our obesity epidemic lurches from bad to worse.

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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

Ew, poo! But what if it REVERSES getting fat?

NOt fat any more
Out of the poo – get your gut bacteria right – and get back the body you once had

We’re all different, right? Fat, thin – tall, short – dark, fair – happy, sad – no two of us alike.

Same with how we eat, how we exercise, how we sleep – all of us completely unique.

And with our tummies – always calm, made of cast-iron, upset at the slightest little twitch.

Go with your gut feel

Yeah well, not surprising really. Down in our gut, where most of our personal bacteria liveover a hundred trillion of them and counting – things are about as different as it’s possible to get.

As long as these amazing communities of microbes are in balance, we’re most of us OK, well-adjusted, slim, trim and agile – lots of get-up-and-go and enjoying an active life.

Trouble is, we’re not always in balance. Check out the two thirds of us who are visibly overweight – or with ongoing health problems that we never seem to shift. Those teeming bacteria in our gut are not happy with something or other – and it shows in the way our bodies respond.

Yeah sure, we can change some things – what we eat, how we eat, hit the gym, take pills. None of them really work, do they? Lots of hype and every now and then a minor celebrity makes headlines with a new-look bod. But all smoke and mirrors most of the time – until out of desperation, we try the next one.

Time to get real

Know that expression, “you are what you eat?”

More accurately, we are what our gut bacteria process us into. That’s their job – along with a zillion other things like produce proteins and regulate our immune systems. They call the shots and our bodies respond.

Which means we are what our gut bacteria tell us to eat.

And if they tell us all the time that we’re hungry – that we need to charge up as fast as we can with quick-acting, high energy power foods – that’s what we do. And if they don’t stop telling us, we don’t stop responding. They say emergency, we respond with gorging on burgers and Coke – deliberately loading super-octane fuel like there’s no tomorrow.

But there is no emergency, is there?

Somewhere, something is out of balance – and we pay the price with bodies that are fat and flabby with no energy. Lethargic and listless – because our gut tells not only to cram in the most concentrated power foods we can find, but to cut back on all exercise, conserve energy, save our resources for some impending high-effort threat that never seems to materialise.

It’s like out gut is telling us we’re out in the freezing Arctic wastes – and we each have to pull ten times our own body weight non-stop for a thousand miles in the teeth of a raging blizzard. Exactly the kind of challenge that would need to stoke up on burgers and Coke – for quick-fix power – when actually all we need to do is stroll fifty yards to the bus stop.

Leptin resistance

So what’s up? Why are our bodies having such trouble?HealthAmbition Link

Listen up good. We’re not fat because we have no will power – our appetite is controlled by our gut bacteria anyway, not our brains. We’re fat because of leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone our bacteria make to shut off our hunger cravings. But something has screwed our gut bacteria so they don’t react to it. The appetite signal remains at full throttle – and the brain says eat, eat, eat – c’mon, get with the programme.

What’s wrong is a whole lot of things, being fat is just one of the signs. Somehow our gut bacteria are not as diverse as they should be – and there aren’t enough of them. Some of our more specialist types – usually it’s the rare ones that affect balance most – just aren’t there.

Medics can check all this by analysing our poo – and see at once that key bacteria are missing, or behaving erratically. By the same token, these “poologists” can also see when the poo of a healthy person is right – that everything is all as it should be – no fat, no flagging stamina, all hunky-dory.

Poo transplants

And here’s a thing. By doing a poo transplant – taking waste gut bacteria from a healthy person and introducing it into the gut of a leptin resistant one – poologists can actually cause the imbalance to reverse, building up missing numbers and starting new colonies of the rare specialist types. FMT it’s called – Faecal Microbiota Transplantation – which in the UK, can be done at the Taymount Clinic or the Somerset FMT Clinic.

It’s getting not to be as yuck as it sounds either. With the latest methods, all the prep work is done in the lab under very hygienic conditions, the necessary bacteria cleansed off and concentrated together in gelatin capsules.  Down the hatch with these tasteless, odourless pills and repopulation begins as soon as they hit the gut.

Alternatively, it can be done at home – though you’ll need to chose your donor well, to be sure of best results.

Either way, you’re doing something positive to correct your gut imbalance – particularly the leptin resistance that’s caused so many of us to balloon to unhealthy levels. Good luck with it, don’t forget everyone has a different metabolism, so results will vary from person to person.

Why we’re all lumps of lard

OK, so what causes our gut imbalance? We’re not all on steroids which certainly can make us bulk up very quickly, hamster face and all. So what is it that we’re all exposed to that makes EVERYONE put on weight? Even the slimmest of us are chubbier than we were five years ago.

You’re not going to like this.

It’s antibiotics – the same miracle life-saving drugs that have made modern medicine so amazing. Yes, in prescriptions for illness, which most of us have had – particularly children these days, which is why so many kids are fat. Administer antibiotics to toddlers before they’re two – and by five they’ll be visibly overweight.

But more than that, we get antibiotics in food – pretty well across the board in everything we eat. Why? Because antibiotics bulk up animals and boost plant growth – and farmers have been using them for more than fifty years.

According to official figures, around the world agriculture uses 65,000 tonnes a year, though governments are cagey about this, given the huge rise in antibiotic resistant superbugs in recent years.  More realistically, China, the world’s largest consumer, puts its own use at about half the world’s total – around 162,000 tonnes.

Remember your twice times? That means 324,000 TONNES A YEAR – enough for a hefty 450 mg dose to every man, woman and child on the entire planet.

And antibiotics do to us exactly what they do to animals – kill bacteria, like they’re designed to. Particularly put our systems out of balance and activate our hunger. So that we’re as ravenous as those factory-farm animals who are dosed every day. They bulk up at four times normal speed – and so do we.

Rescued by poo and hygiene

Ooh, er – so we’re all in the poo.

Well yes, but it could be poo that gets us out of it. Plus of course getting off antibiotics ASAP so we don’t get any fatter. Not easy unless you go organic, or like The Good Life, decide to grow your own.

But coming off antibiotics raises big problems too. No more miracle drugs – we’ve got to bump up our personal hygiene levels way higher to compensate for no more rescue drugs. Wash hands at every turn, keep everything around us meticulously clean.

And with our weakened metabolisms – drip-drip antibiotics in our food have damaged our gut bacteria so much over 50 years that our immune systems are no longer as resilient – we need to make sure our surroundings are as near-sterile as possible too.

Time for all of us to roll out the Hypersterilisers – to sterilise the rooms we live in free from all pathogenic viruses and bacteria. To get us out of the poo and keep us out.

Hoo boy! A crap subject to write about, but somebody’s got to do it.

Keep well, all of you.

Picture Copyright: akz / 123RF Stock Photo

Busted hunger switches? No wonder we’re all fat!

Happy Heavy
More food, more food, yay! With the OFF switch broken, we want the quickest most high-powered energy charge we can get

Never knew we had hunger switches?

Well we do. Two hormones produced by the bacteria we have in our gut.

The ON switch is ghrelin, which kicks in when we’re getting close to empty and tells the brain to go look for food.

The OFF switch is leptin, which tells us when we’ve had enough, stop eating, the tank is full. And there’s more well-researched stuff about leptin in the link from from Health Ambition editor Helen Sanders in the link below.

Proper balance

As long as these two are working OK, our bodies will be as they ought to be – agile, fit and slim – naturally choosing the right foods, eating just enough, enjoying exercise, feeling good.

Look around though, and a lot of us are having trouble with that OFF switch. Nearly two thirds of us are overweight or obese – and the rest of us are heading that way. Somehow our leptin levels are either too low, or it’s just not doing its stuff.

That triggers the brain’s self-preservation reflex, sending out signals to boost our energy sources. We feel them as hunger pangs and cravings – we’re starving, we’re starving – deliberately urging us to scavenge for and gobble up high-fat, high-sugar foods – the quickest and easiest energy charge to get us going again.

Couch potato time

At the same time the body gives us shut down messages – revert to stand-by, conserve energy, minimise all exercise – squashing any urge to go to the gym, or get up off the sofa and run. So it’s not just laziness, lying there parked off – your body is physically telling you not to.

Meanwhile, we’re sitting there porking out with two 2-litre bottles of Coke plus cod and double chips, watching the latest sugar porn on the Great British Bake Off.

Not good if you want to shift the pounds off. Like going bungee-jumping when your whole being is screaming NO-O-O-O-O! Diet all you like, unless you’re iron-willed like SAS veterans, your weight-loss efforts don’t really stand a chance. Even a gastric band won’t fix the cravings – as soon as it’s off, we need a KFC bucket.

Oops, leptin resistance

HealthAmbition Link
GET THE LOW-DOWN ON LEPTIN

So what’s wrong with the leptin switch? Why are we all gorging ourselves crazy, with our hunger reflexes jammed full-on?

Actually, do a leptin level check, and most of us will turn out normal. The leptin’s there to do its job, our systems just aren’t responding. Somehow, they’ve become leptin resistant.

Step forward histone deacetylase 5, otherwise known as HDAC5. One day it might become as familiar to us as DNA.

According to researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, Technische Universität München and the German Centre for Diabetes Research, HDAC5 is an enzyme that corrects the brain so it reads leptin levels correctly.

Whoo-hoo! Switch off the hunger pangs, back to being thin again.

Well, maybe not quite yet. Researchers have isolated the enzyme – and they’ve tried it out on mice. Works a treat, they lose fat mass and body weight. They’re just several years shy of proving it to work on humans.

Uh huh.

So if HDAC5 is showing the way to the answer, what’s the cause? Maybe if we plug that hole, we can make the problem will go away anyway.

Fat hope.

The real gut gangster

Because the one cause of putting our gut bacteria on the fritz that all of us share is collective damage from antibiotics. And whichever way you cut it, every one of us is a mainlining antibiotics junkie.

Yeah, we all take antibiotics for sickness of one kind or another – at least one course a year for most of us – more if we’re hypochondriacs. But few of us ever realise we’re actually gulping down antibiotics all the time – for 50 years they’ve been agriculture’s No 1 growth booster for animals and plants. The animals eat them, they get fat, we eat the animals, we get fat too. Ditto for plants.

Which means every mouthful we take includes yet another dose of some miracle-drug deliberately used to fatten produce up. We’re fat because we’re constantly chowing down fatteners.

Sort of.

Another one bites the dust

Actually we’re fat because antibiotics work by killing bacteria. And every hit that winds up in our gut takes out another few thousand. Not good, even though we each have over 100 trillion down there in our digestive system – we need them for all kinds of things, including regulate our immune system.

But dump antibiotics in there and it’s like a hydrogen bomb. And the fall out? Lots of dead bacteria, a whole host of upsets our bodies have to cope with. Imagine someone going mad in the cockpit of a Boeing, flipping all the switches.

Yup, that’s how the leptin gets glitched, just like it does for Farmer Brown’s finest beef cows and chickens. Our appetites are on turbo and we dream of double sugar in the Great British Bake Off.

There’s lots of other things that glitch too – our daily dose of MORE antibiotics sees to that. Which means that we’re less healthy than we were – less able to resist infection, our immune systems under-powered and under strain. Every meal, another top-up.

Antibiotics – angels from hell

Which means, if we get sick, we ought to try to avoid antibiotics to get better – restrict them to intravenous, or a once-off emergency only – beyond that no way, they’ve already done enough damage.

Take that tactic and we must avoid getting sick in the first place. And the only way to do that is up our hygiene levels – wash our hands before and after everything, be meticulous about keeping things clean, wherever possible sterilising the area around us.

At least that’s easy. Hit the button on a Hypersteriliser and a fine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide oxidises all viruses and bacteria in any room space – dead and gone, sterilised to nothing in around forty minutes. Totally safe.

Other than that, switch to organic food (no antibiotics) – and start exercising, whatever the body says.

We might be fat, but we don’t have to stay that way.

Picture Copyright: studiograndouest / 123RF Stock Photo

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

It’s not your fault you’re fat, antibiotics are to blame

Fedup with workout
OK, so we’re all bulgier than we should be – don’t knock yourself out, it’s beyond your control

Right, not food you eat – the antibiotics you swallow.

Even though you might not taking them right now.

Because actually, you are – you just don’t know it.

We all are – every day.

Junkies, and we don’t know it

Because they’re in the food we eat. Put there to bulk up the meat we choose and the veg we prefer. In our bread, butter, milk and water too. Eggs too, of course.

Strictly speaking, we guess that does mean you’re getting fat from the food you eat. But not from the nutrition it gives – from the messing around it does to your digestive system, so you extract MORE food value than you’re meant too – over-riding your control of when to stop.

Truth is, that’s why antibiotics are a major part of food production – and have been for decades. They make ANIMALS bigger, better, faster – added to the food they eat. Now it’s happening to us, with the same result. They eat spiked feedstuff, we eat them, we get antibiotics too. Little bit by little bit, every single day.

Licence to print money

Which means – as you can imagine – on the farm, antibiotics are a goldmine. Without them, farmers would have to have acres of otherwise useless grazing space, animals spread out across fields and fields, growing up slowly in the fresh air and sunshine.

All very nice, but not good for business. Even charging double because it’s “organic”.

No, no, no – much better to herd all the animals indoors, out of the weather, closer together so they’re easier to breed and feed. A bit messy with so many of them all jammed in close together, not exactly healthy, pretty stressful too.

But never mind, antibiotics compensate for the high density conditions. None of them get sick because they’re on medicine already. And the amazing side effect is they get bigger and bigger and bigger – an overnight miracle. From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 1 year instead of four.

Yeah, so forget whatever your Doc might be using them for – antibiotics on the farm are the modern way of doing business, the failsafe that keeps factory farms going. Round the world they get used on an industrial scale – in China alone, 162,000 tonnes a year according to this report –  half the world’s intake.

Which means the actual figure is twice that – 324,000 tonnes.

Still think you’re not on antibiotics?

Yeah, well everybody’s got to eat. And with a world population of 7.5 billion, that means a dose of around 450 milligrams for every man, woman and child on the planet – four times the strength your Doc would probably put you on, if you had an ailment.

Lifesavers that kill

And have you any idea what antibiotics do to your innards?

Basically, they only do one thing – kill bacteria. Which is good if you have an infection or disease, they kill the bacteria that’s causing it, you get better.

Hold up there, that’s not the full story.

Antibiotics kill bacteria, right? That means pretty well ALL bacteria they come in contact with, unless it’s a type that’s built up a resistance.

And guess what? Down in your gut, there are hundreds of trillions of bacteria – all vital to enabling digestion, producing proteins, regulating your immune system, and a zillion other things. One antibiotics pill releasing in that lot and it’s mass murder – whole tribes wiped out, crucial clans damaged or impaired, the whole balance gone for a ball of chalk.

But your body needs those guys to be healthy and resilient – as many and diverse as possible to meet all the challenges to expect in your lifetime. Except they’re not healthy and resilient, are they? They’re busted and broken, whole squadrons missing – including the ones that control appetite, producing ghrelin to start eating and leptin to stop.

A busted flush

Yeah, to put it mildly, you’re stuffed out of sight – nutrition intake system jammed on full throttle. Unless you’re fully aware of what your body keeps asking, you find yourself eating with no idea why you’re so hungry.

Worse, your body grabs more out of the food as it passes through your system. Eating more and pooing less – all that stuff’s got to go somewhere, so that’s the start of your spare tyre. Next stop, bingo wings, thunder thighs, muffin top and all the trimmings. And you thought it was all you.

Of course not all of us are as fat as we might be. We all have different metabolisms, our colonies of gut bacteria vary as individually as fingerprints, and our immune systems all have different exposure to disease and illnesses as we grow up. And to antibiotics.

One thing’s for sure. The younger we get hit, the more chance we have of being obese. Not just the background drip, drip we all experience – but a full-on medical course a doctor might prescribe. Full throttle already, now we go to warp speed.

Fat from childhood

Get antibiotics before we’re two, and chances are high we’ll be overweight by five. And if you’re like most of us here in the UK, by the time you’re twenty, you’ll have been through TWENTY courses of antibiotics – every one of them grabbing at your gut and ripping things out. Chug three Cokes at a session and you don’t even know you’re doing it.

Plus you’re more vulnerable too. Not surprising with half your immune control system shot to hell.

Which means if you want to live to a ripe old age, better take care of yourself more than you might have been. Despite the antibiotics – or rather, because of them – infections are now easier to catch. More easily picked up from germs on your skin, from the air, or from objects around you.

Want proof? How many times have you come down with colds or flu – can’t shake them off? Or headaches, norovirus or other tummy bugs – over and over again? Like this never happened to your Mum and Dad.

Personal protection

OK, so wash your hands every chance you get. Wash the dirt off – and the germs – invisible nano-dirt you can’t see, but just waiting to climb inside you and make you ill.

Sterilise the space around you as well. A good mist up with a Hypersteriliser will keep your workplace free from all viruses and bacteria for a good twenty-four hours or more. It won’t kill infections if you’ve already got them – but it will stop new ones happening.

Of course, getting that weight off is a pain. Your mind has to over-rule your gut feel – and there are no short cuts.

But now at least you know what you’re up against. You’re not fighting you, you’re fighting antibiotics.

It wasn’t your fault you got fat in the first place – but it’s going to be all-you that makes you thinner.

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