Tag Archives: immune system

Life-saving dirty secrets land MRSA in the poo

Apple girl
You have to do it when you’re little –
play dirty to play safe

Blam!

Suddenly you’re back a thousand years, toiling on a farm in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex.

That super-star tough guy Canute hasn’t arrived yet – he’s only due in Poole Harbour in September or so – it’s too hot for fighting and pillaging now.

Dirt under your fingernails

So you’re out in the fields, getting all muddy, then chopping up garlic and leeks for tonight’s meal – a bubbling stew with wine and stuff you make in that brass pot your forefathers brought over from Denmark in the last invasion.

Oh yeah, and with the leftovers, you’re going to dump in some bile from Sunniva, the family cow – your man Betlic has a nasty stye on his eye and your ancient family-recipe goo is just the thing to fix it.

He’s got to wait a week or so before you can use it though – the stuff needs to do its thing – simmer, bubble, mature, whatever. All you know is, it settles down into a kind of paste – and clears up eye infections overnight.

Amazing how things work with min resources, isn’t it?

Back then, there was no such thing as an antibiotic. Nobody even knew what “biotic” was. But when you live on the land, getting good and dirty working the soil, you learn a thing about treating cuts and scratches – or even serious injury.

Make it up as you go along

This mud makes a good poultice, mixed in with pounded comfrey. Those leaves fix your stomach ache if you boil them, then mix the liquid with goat’s wee. Chew that willow bark to fix your headache.

Natural things – and your own body’s immune system, intertwined and reacting to your environment. There are no doctors here, so injuries get trial-and-error treatments handed down through centuries.

But nobody gets sick either – their bodies have built defences to the usual soil bacteria and seasonal viruses. Bad food, of course will do it – or the bite of an animal from another area – different germs you’ve never got used to.

If a doctor examined you in some Twenty-First Century Clinic – nobody would believe the findings. You’re good to go anywhere at all – while your modern cousins are languishing with asthma, hay fever, all kinds of other coughs and sneezes – stuff you shake off without thinking.

‘Cos your immune system’s good, see. Up and running and properly tuned.

Everywhere, threats

Not like them. Allergies of all kinds they can’t get rid of. Immune systems compensating for challenges they haven’t faced for hundreds of years.

But that’s the price of modern living. Safe drinking water and plumbed sewage. Hygienic surroundings. Food produced so carefully there’s no chance of infection. No threats for your system to latch onto – so it finds substitutes.

Like, back in your pre-Canute days, who ever reacted to grass seeds? Or pollen in the air? Or flared up with bee stings? Or swelled up eating nuts?

It didn’t happen because your system knew the odds. It learnt from chewing dirt as a child. Mud and cow bile. Mud and poo – what’s the difference? Babies are tough – and self-teaching their immune systems is why.

You think your stye ointment is just for fixing eye troubles – with no idea of its other healing powers.

You don’t have MRSA in your time – methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus – there are no antibiotics for it to resist. But you don’t have the staph infections either – your eye-gop stops them too.

Body self-destruct

Count yourself lucky.

Because allergies aren’t the only thing that happen when the immune system over-reacts.

Ever heard of sepsis?

Blame it on our over-clean, over-safe, sanitised, pasteurised lifestyle. One tiny, everyday disorder and the system goes into meltdown. It’s only a throat tickle, but the body retaliates as if it’s thermo-nuclear war.

Every antibody in your whole metabolism goes into over-drive, but there’s nothing serious to react to. But everything’s gung-ho, so the body attacks itself.

Which is what happens when the immune system has nothing to do. And why 37,000 people die from sepsis every year. Not big, like cancer, but every bit as deadly – which is why heartbroken families have helped put together a trust fund to fight it.

Yeah, MRSA – and all those other hospital-acquired infections. Other bugs too, that we’ve lost our defences for – because we’re too clean-obsessed for our own good.

We’re in it now

Because it’s too late now to go play in the mud. We’re all grown up and unable to learn. A bit of dirt and we all come down with something dreadful – like our every-time-a-coconut holiday friend, norovirus.

So it’s not just MRSA that’s in the poo, it’s us.

OK, so clean-obsessed works, up to a point. Time to go wash your hands. And blast all the germs and viruses around you out of existence with a Hypersteriliser.

And that’s no secret, just common sense.

Originally posted 2015-07-01 12:11:50.

How down and dirty could save your life

Dirty faced woman
Our immune systems might have the dirt on germs – but we still need to wash our hands all the time

No, not beauty treatment or anything like that.

Forget Dead Sea mud and all the pampering clinics. This is good eat-dirt-to-make-healthy-bodies thinking – otherwise known as the “hygiene hypothesis”.

Oh, and you’ve got to do it before you’re more than twelve months old. After that, your immune system is no longer working in turbo mode to remember all the germs it knows how to conquer.

Know your enemy

Actually, the body does keep on discovering these as you get older, but not at the same pace.

Kids who grow up on a farm for instance, are more resistant to allergies and infection. Even early exposure to animal faeces and cockroach droppings seems to be beneficial – in weird conflict with keeping clean and washing our hands all the time.

But there is reason in the madness.

Our immune systems learn how to recognise and fight life-threatening micro-organisms in later life. They even acquire memories of germs they’ve never encountered – hostile pathogens never experienced before that have never entered our bodies.

Segue fast forward to adulthood and the same principle applies.

Developing immunity

Because it seems around half of us have developed an immunity to flu so strong, we just never come down with it any more – no coughs, sneezes, headaches, fever. They just pass us by. Previous infections have built up our resistance, so that our bodies can tell flu viruses to get lost.

And yep, it seems to work against pandemic flu too – we’re able to withstand oncoming waves of bird flu, swine flu and maybe even SARS as well. Not from eating dirt, but from previous exposure to milder infections that teach our immune systems how to handle the real villains.

Kinda like the analogy with cowpox and smallpox.

For centuries, smallpox was a killer virus that caused misery for millions with pus-filled blisters all over the body. But in 1796, Edward Jenner, a doctor in Gloucestershire, discovered that previous exposure to cowpox – a familiar problem on farms – produced immunity to smallpox.

“Vacca” is the Latin word for cow – from which we get “vaccine,” a protection from viruses – and “vaccination”, the jab we get to protect us. Actually for cowpox it’s a series of tiny jabs dipped in vaccine solution – a mild reaction blister develops, but disappears in two weeks – and we are protected.

Washing hands is always vital

All of which does not mean that we should ignore daily hygiene, or that it’s safe to run around with dirty hands.

It was another doctor, Joseph Lister, who discovered that surgery patients were dying because infections were transferred from one case to another by surgeons who did not realise the significance of washing hands between treatments.

And yes, he’s the guy after whom Listerine is named, originally an antiseptic, but now a mouthwash.

We might have immunities, but there’s still plenty of germs out there we haven’t encountered yet – all too ready to do the dirty on us if we stop being careful. (Tweet this)

And the Lister story is significant because it’s about transferring germs, spreading them on contact – either directly, or by things we touch in common with other people – door handles, mobiles, keyboards, knives and forks – what the medics call “fomites”.

Hygiene to protect others

Our immunities aren’t all the same either. So while WE might be safe from a particular germ, the kid at the next desk in school – or the colleague alongside us at work – other people might not be.

How fair is it to give them our germs – infect them with a bug we’re immune to – because we’re too forgetful to wash our hands?

Yes, “down and dirty” teaches our bodies to be strong when we’re infants. It’s also how we need to fight germs when we’re older. All or nothing, brute force, get rid of them.Rediscover Hygiene logo

Because living in communities of others as we do – all of us different – there’s no one-size-fits-all protection we can share.

Except washing hands.

Life-saving habits

Except doing everything to keep germs away from any of us who are vulnerable. To stop any cross-contamination. To keep everything around us clean and germ-free for the same reason. Even to using a Hypersteriliser to sterilise the living space around us.

Dead and gone, germs can’t touch us.

So let’s give them their own dirty treatment straight back again.

Originally posted 2015-06-17 11:35:35.

OK wise guys, how soon before the Sugar Tax actually kills somebody?

Mine mine mine
OK, so you tax sugar and people still get fat – now what?

Bet you thought you had it sorted, hey? Wise guys for sure.

The obesity crisis done and dusted. You’re all heroes, collect your medals, put your statue in the High Street.

Going to look a right bunch of Charlies when the mortality figures don’t come down, aren’t you?

Fatheads or what?

Two thirds of adults are currently overweight or obese, one third of children 6 – 19 are currently overweight or obese – and figures are still rocketing for both.

Oh yeah, you’re going to say, sedentary lifestyle, junk food diets – put a tax on burgers and pizzas, tax cars and buses to make people walk. Wise guys all, with an answer for everything.

And when the numbers keep rocketing after that?

Ooh er , we need more research. Got to find an answer somewhere.

Uh huh. How about what’s staring you in the face?

None so blind

Like we weren’t so fat in the 1960s, were we? Back then your average bloke weighed in at 10.2 stone (65kg) and your average blokess at 8.7 stone (55kg). Today they’re tipping the scales at 13.2 stone (83.6kg) and 11.1 stone (70.2kg) respectively. 20% more in 50 years.

And guess what? They had Coke back then too. And Irn-Bru and Lucozade. No sugar tax though – it wasn’t necessary. Wise guys.

They had burgers too – two bob each, with double-thick milkshakes for two-and-three (that’s in grandpa’s old money) from Wimpy bars,  named after J. Wellington Wimpy in Popeye the Sailor Man cartoons showing at the local bughouse – the original health propaganda for kids, trying to get them to eat spinach.

Enter, the beast

Oh and yeah, that was when they introduced antibiotics – as GROWTH PROMOTERS on the farm.

Bingo! A total money-making revolution.

From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years. So amazingly successful that world farmers are now using 65,000 tonnes of antibiotics a year – a guaranteed super-fattener that works on plants too.

Super double jackpot!

Which is why there are guaranteed super-fatteners in all the food you buy at the supermarket – your meat, your poultry, your dairy, your veg, your cereals, the works. Added to animal feed on the farm, or laced through animal waste manure used to enrich the soil for plant crops.

OK, so even if we stop taking sugar altogether, our kids are still going to get fat – jump started by MEDICAL antibiotics we give them through infancy – and topped up every with every meal they eat, more, more, more.

Get the picture, wise guys?

The animals get fat, so we get fat too.

Bodies out of balance

Anyway, sugar actually does nothing if our bodies are normal, balanced and healthy – not stampeded by unstoppable cravings for sweet things and power foods – and not driven by antibiotic damage to our gut bacteria so we never know when we’ve had enough.

Which means unless we dump antibiotics altogether, obesity is going to snowball. More people at risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma – all the slow killers. We turn our backs on the problem with a sugar tax – and then wonder why we keep dying.

Plus it’s not just our appetite control that antibiotics destroy. Increasingly, it’s our whole immune system.

Ironic, huh? We take these things as miracle drugs to make us well – and they rip our gut bacteria apart to do it. That’s because they kill bacteria in order to work. Not just the bad ones making us ill, the good ones as well.

Except we NEED these bacteria for our bodies to keep going. They’re 90% of who we are – and everything we eat is ripping them apart.

Some of the rarer ones, our special immunity against infections we haven’t even had yet, might be annihilated altogether – our bodies never restore to exactly how they were. Our children inherit fewer immunities to pass onto their kids, just as we lose immunities acquired from our mothers at birth – even less if we are born by caesarean section.

Slightly more serious that taxing sugar, hey wise guys?

More at hazard

Because it means that from generation to generation our immune systems get weaker – we’re increasingly more vulnerable to infection and disease. And the very antibiotics we might use to save ourselves are either resisted by bacteria that have mutated new defences against them, or continually savaging our remaining gut bacteria to make us even weaker.

Job not done, wise guys. Job screwed.

The real issue is not to chop sugar – it’s to chop antibiotics. Totally.

In the meantime we have to survive.

Since we’re increasingly defenceless, we’re more likely to pick up germs from things we touch and live with. Hand hygiene is no longer just necessary, it’s a life saver. Fail to wash your hands before a meal or after the loo and it could be the death of you. Because – you guessed it, you can’t rely on antibiotics to rescue you.

And how about the things we touch and live with? Leave them be and we’re still at risk. Which makes it increasingly critical to sterilise our surroundings. Not just clean and disinfect – sterilise. And not just surfaces either – every nook and cranny, even the air itself, the only way to make the rooms we work, eat and sleep in absolutely safe.

Which means increasingly we’re going to need Hypersterilisers – those nifty wheelie-bin-sized machines that you trundle in and mist the place up with a safe, dry mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide, destroying all viruses and bacteria – the harmful ones outside our bodies, not our vital interior friends – down to zero in around 40 minutes.

Do all that and we’re a step closer to being sorted – chop antibiotics, ramp up serious hygiene. Then we can all be wise guys. No dead bodies – and an even chance of a ripe old age.

Sugar tax? Don’t hold your breath.

And with that, it’s time for a Coke. Reckon we’ll make that Coke Zero.

Picture Copyright: ocusfocus / 123RF Stock Photo

Obesity, Dame Sally? But fast food is our lifeline!

Before and after
It’s not what you eat –
it’s what you don’t know you eat

Yeah, we’re all fat – and getting fatter.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, our very on-the-ball Chief Medical Officer, is right that obesity is a national crisis – an epidemic threat worse than terrorism.

Antibiotics… again

But hang on a minute, obesity itself isn’t the problem – it’s the result.

The real culprit is over-use of antibiotics – the other major alarm issue Dame Sally has alerted us to for at least the last five years.

Wha..?

Antibiotics and obesity?

Sure, the connection is staring us in the face.

Because how come it’s not just SOME of us getting fat, it’s rapidly becoming ALL of us – 50% of women and 80% of men? And how come none of this started happening until twenty years ago?

That’s when farmers around the world – Americans call them Big Ag – started using antibiotics on an industrial scale in livestock production and for everything else. Right now, 65,000 tons a year and climbing – set to be almost double by 2030.

Money, money, money

Big bucks is the driver – higher profits, every farmer hits the jackpot.

With antibiotics regularly in their feedstuff, livestock animals can be farmed more intensively. Closer together, all in one place, easier to manage. But often in very dirty places and prone to disease – without the magic medicine keeping them healthy. Seen those pictures of chicken-houses?

More animals, less space – Jackpot One.

And 65,000 tons a year, remember? Slightly greater throughput than Dame Sally might be used to in the medical field – plenty of practice for superbugs to suss how to resist whatever antibiotics we clueless humans might throw at them. E.coli, salmonella, c.difficile, MRSA – they all start here.

Uh huh. But Big Ag has a bigger, darker motive.

Feed antibiotics to animals regularly – cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, fish, whatever – and they grow bigger, fatter, faster.

Something tricks their natural gut bacteria into extracting more value from less food -at the same time supressing the reflex that tells them when they’ve eaten enough. They gorge themselves stupid.

Double the size in half the time – Jackpot Two.

And there’s antibiotics in plant crops too. Streptomycin for peas and beans, tetracycline for wheat – both of them in all kinds of fruit.

Nor does it stop there.

They’re everywhere

Waste from animals becomes manure – to replace nutrients in the soil depleted by constant use. Antibiotics are in the ground, seeping into the water table, leaching through into streams and rivers, into reservoirs – into our homes at the turn of a tap.

So unless you eat ONLY organic foods – grown without fertiliser from any animal source. And unless you drink only bottled water, or boil it death before even thinking about it – you’ve been on antibiotics all your life.

All of us have. Drip-drip residual doses – every day, every mouthful, since the day we were born.

Continuous dosing by powerful substances that make our own gut bacteria super-efficient at extracting the absolute maximum from every last molecule of food. Which switch off our natural mechanism that tells us when we’ve had enough. Our own immune system on the fritz – and getting fritzier.

Forget whatever diet you’re on – pretty well all the food we can buy at the supermarket has antibiotics in it. No escape, even if you eat healthy – you’re getting antibiotics every day and on course for obesity.

Fast food to the rescue

Which is exactly why fast food might save us.

OK, so you order a chicken burger. Better throw away the bun, the salad, the sauce and the side-order of chips – antibiotics in the lot of them.

But not in the meat. Or at least, not in the meat – soon.

Because with falling market volumes – and negative press about the sheer volume of their business contributing to major antibiotic resistance – major fast food chains McDonalds, Subway, Chipotle and others are switching to antibiotics-free supplies. Zero in their chicken – and as soon as possible, zero in their beef and other stuff too.

In the meantime, if you’re worried, get ready to boil everything – meat vegetables, fruit, the works. And when we say boil, we mean nuke it for at least 30 minutes – it’s the only thing that works.

Either that, or be paranoid about genuine organic-sourced food. But check the label thoroughly – even the expensive designer stuff is likely to come from soil in some way exposed to antibiotics.

Nobody’s fault

Are we being OCD about all this?

Well, every girl wants to be pretty, not a two-ton Tessie. And laying the guilt-trip on them that they eat themselves fat is unnecessarily harsh, cruel and callous.

Yeah, so they’re overweight. But how are they to know they’ve OD’d on antibiotics all their lives and their body’s regulatory systems are shot?

Antibiotics upset the natural balance of the body’s own bacterial microbiome, drastically altering its defences, weakening its survival strengths – making it prone to asthma, food allergies, diabetes and yes, obesity.

All of which makes Dame Sally especially right to flag down pregnant women. Antibiotics affect their babies’ bodies as much as their own. Worse, they corrupt the mother’s hereditary process that teaches the baby’s body bacteria about immunities before they are born.

So if Mum’s fat – and she may have battled all her life handling that stigma – her baby could be fat too, skewed by antibiotics that neither of them were prescribed, but which are in their systems anyway. And because of continuing exposure to antibiotics, weaker, less resilient, more fragile and helpless.

Action steps

Is there anything we can do about it?

Dame Sally as usual, has hit the nail on the head – though for different reasons than she first intended.

She’s worried about medical antibiotics not working because bacteria are fast developing all-round resistance. AMR. At a stroke, most surgical procedures become impossible. If antibiotics don’t work, there’s no infection control to safeguard the necessary incisions.

The only answer, stop using antibiotics (they’re useless anyway), rediscover hygiene. Wash and clean everything meticulously and constantly so germs never get a chance. Sterilise living spaces with a Hypersteriliser.

The preggy ladies are in the same boat. Stop using antibiotics – boil food to boredom, or choose expensive organics . Likewise, wash and clean everything meticulously and constantly so germs never get a chance. Sterilise living spaces with a Hypersteriliser.

Hmmm, supper time after all that. We might go a bit hungry though.

It’s going to be a while before all fast food chains get their act together and stop supplying food laced with antibiotics.

Shredded newspaper, anyone?

The heck with superbugs, antibiotics make you fat

On the scales
No we’re not unhealty, our body bacteria are glitched

Forget the guilt trip, we’re not to blame.

At least most of us aren’t – even though, officially, Britain is Top of the Fat Pops of Europe – with more than a quarter of us already obese, and more than half of us definitely overweight or tending that way.

Not our fault

Yeah, admittedly there are SOME of us who do overindulge. Unhealthy eating, gorging ourselves. But not everyone’s into deep-fried Mars bars – even though we’re most of us a bit tubby.

We weren’t always like this, were we?

And while our modern lifestyle of going by car to our desk jobs, downing fast food and platzing out as couch potatoes in front of the TV doesn’t help, stress doesn’t help either. How many of us have sleepless nights worrying about our jobs, security, social image or love life?

No, not everyone’s into comfort food – in fact it’s more of a wonder we don’t waste away to nothing with all those anxieties going round in our head.

You are what you eat, the authority figures tell us – and yes, they’re right.

But they’re not exactly open with the truth about that – mostly because even THEY don’t know.

Awkward secrets

They actually don’t know that every mouthful we take – food or liquid – includes traces of antibiotics. That eggs, bread, meat, or even a glass or milk is likely to contain as much as 25 micrograms of tetracycline or something similar.

Why?

Because every day since agricultural researchers first fed streptomycin to reduce losses of cage-reared chickens back in 1946 – antibiotics have demonstrated the most unusual side-effect of rapid weight-gain, almost double in half the time, for ALL animal production.

Fast-forward to the 70s and 80s, with farmers hard-pressed to stay in business. Now antibiotics start being used on an industrial scale – 400 tons a year and more. They protect livestock crammed together in over-crowded and unhygienic conditions – AND bump up their weight faster, ready for market.

It’s an unbeatable money-maker. The big-time jackpot. So as agriculture ramps up into new high-tech intensive methods, antibiotics are added to the feedstuffs for everything – beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, lambs, sheep, chickens, turkeys – even fish like salmon.

No escape

Ah, so you’re vegetarian!

Don’t think you can escape that easily, antibiotics are used for plant culture too – streptomycin and oxytetracycline for fruit orchards and grain production, of course. And you bet – especially for big earners like crops for fuel ethanol and liquor distilling.

Antibiotics get into the soil too. Fertiliser from livestock, or pushed through from plants. The soil affects the ground water, so the stuff gets into everything else. Rivers, streams, reservoirs – and of course, your kitchen tap.

All of which means that whatever you eat or drink, every mouthful adds another micro-dose of antibiotics to your system. Every day, drip-drip-drip, a little more.

Your body bulks up – until one day, you look in the mirror and realise you’re a bit chubby, maybe even more than a bit. Not size 14 any more, most likely struggling for an 18.

No, no, no! You don’t want obesity or anything that goes with it. Not high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, strokes or other heart problems. Not depression, low self-esteem, anxiety or body rejection either.

So how can you avoid this constant dosing by fat-producing antibiotics?

Two chances

JAM or brute force.

JAM Is Just Add Money. Stop buying ordinary meat and veg and go for the organic stuff.

Yes, it does cost a good bit more, which takes deep pockets. But at least with organic, the farmers undertake not to use artificial anything, which should include antibiotics – but could be a bit iffy with cow manure from unchecked sources.

Always a bit iffy anyway, that “organic” label. Like how do we know everything doesn’t all come from the same place but with different stickers. It happens with sandwiches, so why not organic foods?

Brute force is exactly that. Boil those antibiotics out of existence,

You could get really thin doing this, which will certainly fix any weight problem. It won’t do you much good otherwise though, because antibiotics aren’t alive like bacteria – you can’t scald or oxidise them them to death (just in case you thought you could use an ozonifier) – you have to boil them out.

And the only way is Fawlty Towers landlady style – to boil the food for at least 30 minutes. You then have to chuck out the broth and rinse thoroughly – inevitably making sure all the food value is washed right out. Not much nutrition left there – kinda like canned foods, which are cooked sealed. All the goodness is in the brine – pour that away and it could be soggy cardboard.

Same with your water. Don’t just boil it, boil it to death. Run it through filter paper, twice. With luck you’ll be safe.

Doesn’t exactly inspire you with confidence if the Doc prescribes antibiotics should you get an infection, hey? Yeah trimethoprim will get rid of that urinary tract problem, but what else will it do?

Skewed body systems

You see antibiotics don’t just kill bacteria, they cause them to mutate. Over time and through many generations, the bacteria and others round them develop immunity. They become resistant in their genes, a quality they are able to pass on to other bacteria of completely different kinds.

Which is how a friendly, helpful and useful bacterium might pass on immunity to a passive but hostile pathogen already resident in the body – its character changes – and suddenly there’s a nasty resistant superbug running amok that no medicine can fix.

Change character? Oh yes. You see, bacteria are normally resident and necessary in the body – they even outnumber our human body cells 10 to 1. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to digest food, extract proteins, or regulate our body’s immune system. Mess with them and the whole system goes out of balance.

Which kind of explains why we’re not only getting obese, but coming down with all these weird allergies to milk, eggs, nuts, gluten, shellfish and the like. Asthma and eczema too. How come now, after all the millions of years of human existence without them?

Body bacteria glitched by antibiotics is how. Defences going crazy at phantoms that aren’t there. Lower resistance to all kinds of things, our bodies weaker and less resilient than they ever used to be. Not helped by so many of us demanding antibiotics for every little ailment.

The super-duper-bug

So yeah, enter the superbug resistant to ALL antibiotics.

Think it can’t happen? There’s a kind of super-salmonella already out there that no antibiotic can cure. About the only alternatives are an AK47 or a flame-thrower.

Or a Hypersteriliser.

It won’t kill bugs already in your system, but it won’t make you fat either.

What it will do is mist up your living space with hydrogen peroxide and oxidise ALL viruses and bacteria to nothing – safe for you to go back in without fear of germs or infection.

That plus keeping our hands clean all the time, and we may never need antibiotics any more. We simply avoid the germs they might be used for. It’s the old way of doing things. Rediscover hygiene.

Now to get the weight off. There’s even a way out from diabetes. Reduce the fat in your pancreas by as little as 6% and your system resets insulin production, you’re back on your way to normal.

Yeah, back to your chic, slim self!

How our antibiotics fixation is going to kill us

Taking a pill
It might make you feel
better – but long-term
it’s worse

It starts with a bacon sarnie – maybe our most addictive pleasure.

Super-bad for you of course, described by health experts as a “health time bomb in a bun“.

Ah yes, because it’s high fat and a major cause of atherosclerosis – bacon, butter, brown sauce and bread – overdo them and you’re dead.

Actually no – unless you pig out something stupid.

It’s how the bacon gets that way – solid, meaty taste you can’t resist. What happens out on the farm.

A disaster already happening

Antibiotics is how.

Because there’s a lot of money in pigs. So you’ll find them crowded together in high-intensity breeding sheds. Always dirty, often unhygienic – lots of pigs living close to each other, lots of pig poo – a real mission to keep healthy.

Which is where the antibiotics come in. Lots of healthy pigs, a sure-fire success.

Plus there’s a bonus. Antibiotics in their food makes pigs bulk up, especially from young. Bigger, heavier pigs – even more money.

It works the same with poultry – all those mega chicken sheds the size of aircraft hangers. Put antibiotics in their feed and you get bigger, better chickens – they even eat less too. Higher profits, lower overheads.

Which is why antibiotics are used across the board in all livestock production. Beef and dairy cattle. Lamb and mutton. A massive chunk of the food industry on an industrial scale – 65,000 tons a year world wide and rising.

One heck of a health time bomb.

Over-used and useless

Because when it comes to the purpose antibiotics were designed for – fighting disease in human beings – they’re beginning not to work any more. Over-use and abuse have trained bacteria how to be resistant. Our medicines are useless.

Mind you, we’re not exactly innocent ourselves. Jumping up and down with every minor ailment, demanding antibiotics from the Doc like they’re Smarties. Not finishing the course half the time when we get them – teaching bugs to be even more resistant.

“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics.”

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies

Catastrophic, yes. But that’s not the time bomb.

The real one is ticking away in our kids.

Because what do antibiotics do? They either destroy bacteria, or slow down their growth – bactericidal or bacteriostatic.

Bacteria are us

But it’s a slowly dawning fact of life that we ourselves are more bacteria than human – colonised over our whole evolution and outnumbered 10 to 1. In our gut alone, there are more than 100 trillion of them – doing the heavy work of digesting, producing proteins and regulating our immune systems.

Hold that thought – regulating our immune systems.

Which means when that antibiotic capsule dissolves in our gut, it’s like a nuclear explosion. 100 trillion bacteria – boom! Yes, it gets rid of the bad guys, but there’s collateral damage too – good guys caught in the crossfire.

No wonder there’s side effects – cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea. All from fighting infection in a hip operation – what’s that about?

Yeah, that’s what happens when we take a pill. But that’s not the time bomb either.

You see, we’ve all of us been taking antibiotics continuously since birth – and even before.

They’re in the food we eat – the beef, pork, mutton and poultry. They’re in our vegetables too – from soil enriched by animal fertiliser. No getting away from it, we’re full of the things.

But hold it.

If bacteria regulate our immune system and antibiotics destroy them, what does that do to the rest of us?

System under threat

Plays havoc with our defences, right? Takes down our protective shield at exactly the same time that bad guy bacteria learn how to be invincible. Double whammy BOOM-BOOM!

Now flash-back to why those young piggy-wigs get antibiotics in the first place. Not the health reason, the money reason.

To bulk them up. Bigger, better, fatter pigs.

And don’t forget the “from young” bit. So their bodies LEARN to be fat.

Just like we humans do – and have been doing – more and more visibly throughout the last generation. Learning to get fat. Shaped that way by antibiotics. Hello Twenty-First Century obesity.

Yeah, you got it. We’ve done it to ourselves and keep doing it. Getting in deeper and paying the price.

We start as babies – our immune systems shaped and trained by our mothers’ own metabolism. Her bacteria teach ours – about good and bad. Some of her passive bad guys even teaching us about bogies we’ve neither of us met.

But she’s got antibiotics in her system from the food she eats – and so have we. Not even born and we’re already picking up bad habits.

It gets worse

There’s an even bigger hiccup if the birth goes iffy. Docs can save Mum and us by doing a C-section – a caesarean to get us out of trouble. It stops the bacterial learning curve though. Once that umbilical cord is cut, her system can’t teach us any more. We’ve got to go with what we’ve got.

Then whoops, what happens if she goes onto feeding us with formula? Any last-minute briefing sessions in her breast milk are denied to us – our bacteria have to make do with an incomplete picture. They don’t know how to recognise dangers, or what to do when they happen.

Yeah, yeah – but the world’s a healthier place than it was generations ago. Clean water, fewer diseases, better living conditions, less chance to get sick.

Except antibiotics have graunched our systems.

Our bacteria don’t see threats, so they make up phantoms. Reacting to things that aren’t there with very real symptoms – allergies, asthma. When you were growing up, how many kids did you know who broke out in hives from a peanut butter sandwich? Or went into full anaphylactic shock?

And now we’re getting fat, too. Never mind what we eat, we bulk up – like our bodies were trained to from birth.

Yeah, antibiotics.

We can’t live with them, we can’t live without them.

But not all bad

Except that’s not entirely true.

Inside our bodies we’re OK, protected by our own bacteria. It’s the outside nasties we’ve got to handle – viruses, bacteria and fungi, waiting to have a go at us.

Washing our hands is a start. Getting rid of germs on our skin we might ingest otherwise.

Sterilising our surroundings is our best follow-up. Misting up our living space with ionised hydrogen peroxide from a Hypersteriliser – oxidising all germs to nothing, keeping ourselves safe.

We may not stop the time bomb.

But at least we can try to slow it down.

Five signs you might already be an angel

Bio-aura
Just like an angel. We’re more like heavenly bodies than we might ever think

We are more remarkable than we know.

We’re also not like anything we think we know.

Our brain tells us one thing, but reality is another – our day-to-day consciousness just precludes us from seeing it.

Or believing it.

Which is why – with apologies to ecclesiastical sensitivities, but looking at the shared evidence from various spiritual sources – that we dare to suggest we might already be angels.

We have haloes, an aura all round us

Wherever we go, a living cloud surrounds us. We can’t see it, but we know it’s there. An invisible veil of microorganisms too small to see – the billions and billions of bacteria that surround us every moment of our lives.

We never think of them, never feel that they are there. Except for the bad ones maybe, the ones that can do us harm. Because if we cut ourselves or get dirty, we know that germs get in and we become infected.

Of course there’s good bacteria too, but we only know about those if we’re doctors or biologists – people aware that the good stuff protects us by crowding the bad stuff out.

Actually, some of us can see this aura. In his book Gifts of Unknown Things, South African botanist, zoologist, biologist, anthropologist and ethologist Lyall Watson describes a young girl in Indonesia who could sense colour surrounding her parents and other adults – varying in hue as their moods and thoughts changed.

There’s even a possible explanation for this. Researchers at Harvard University working with samples of escherichia coli found that individual cells of the bacterium carry an electrical charge – negative on the outside and positive on the inside. Exposed to a bacterial protein called green-absorbing proteorhodopsin, the bacteria became excited and gave off light – blinking on and off like a Christmas tree.

Was that young girl so sensitive to her environment that her metabolism could sense tiny voltage changes in the bacterial mantle around her parents’ skins? The aura is medically proven to be there, we just need some kind of 3D bacterial glasses to be able to see it.

We leave traces of ourselves wherever we go

It’s well acknowledged that visitations by angels have one lasting quality – the lingering smell of roses. Whatever the experience, the heady scent seems to provide proof that holy creatures at some stage were present.

Our trailing bio-cloud of bacteria provides similar evidence of our presence, even when we are gone. It is in fact a biological signature unique to every one of us – no two human beings attract quite the same combination of bacteria.

We can’t see it of course, but with their super sensitive noses dogs seem to be able to smell it. If they can locate individual superbugs in hospitals like clostridium difficile, why not single out specific humans from their one-of-a-kind bio-cloud IDs? Is this how a dog’s sense of smell has such unerring accuracy?

We can work miracles

We actually do this every day, though we don’t even know it. That’s because we’re not really us. Reality is that we are colonised by bacteria INSIDE our bodies as well as out – and that they outnumber our body cells by more than 10 to 1.

Our gut for instance is home to 100 trillion bacteria – to enable digestion, produce proteins to power us – and even to regulate the immune system.

It’s more than a remarkable partnership, it’s an amazing miracle that allows out human cells to park off and lord it like kings while a slave force of bacteria does the heavy lifting. After all, watching that box set is the thing, hey. Who wants the PT of processing all those Pringles and coffee while you’re doing it.

We give priceless gifts

If our bodies are living miracles, the powers that they give us are even more amazing. Our immune systems for instance are a finely balanced synergy between bacteria and our own body cells that for seventy years and more keep us pretty well invincible – just like a guardian angel. And believe it or not, our immunity is transferable.

Oh sure, we know that harmful pathogens and infections are easily transferred – by direct contact or unfortunately breathing them in. But the good news is now researchers in California have found that mothers train their babies’ developing immune systems by sending cells through the placenta to teach how it’s done.

Before being born, or any of the coming experience of playing with dirt and teething on everything, babies know how to handle outside threats and how to distinguish biological friend from foe.

We are in heavenly ignorance of all this

If we stopped to think about things, we’d be totally paranoid. Our bodies are 98% water. We share 95% of our DNA with bananas. And now it turns out that 90% of us isn’t us at all but bacteria.

The right bacteria of course. Because the wrong bacteria is totally deadly.

Trouble is, we’re no two of us the same. Which is why some of us get ill in some circumstances and some in others. There is no common denominator. Not very helpful when most of the time we choose to be together in enclosed spaces, in close contact sharing the same air.

Fortunately we don’t need to worry about this either because now it’s possible to sterilise our living spaces after we’ve been there, reducing the germ threshold to zero so we can’t infect each other with our residual bio-clouds.

It’s done with a Hypersteriliser, which mists up the place with hydrogen peroxide to destroy all viruses and bacteria – on surfaces, hidden in cracks and crevices, or lingering in the air.

Is this heaven on earth?

Mmm, better leave that to the theological experts.

The antibiotic price-tag – wash your hands, or land up in hospital

Rush to AandE
Better believe it, unwashed hands can kill you

Old wives’ tale. Rubbish. A little dirt never hurt anyone.

Your parents probably think that. And certainly their parents did.

Life was different back then. No mobiles. Only two stations on the telly. Central heating only for the rich. No 4x4s to take you to school.

Not like the old days

Yeah – and your parents’ parents’ parents had no hot water, no bathroom, only an outside loo. You did your business on the long drop in the freezing cold.

Washing your hands was a mission back then. Put the kettle on, fill the basin – just to wash your hands? Wipe them off with a damp cloth, stop wasting gas. Nobody ever got ill from it.

Yeah, right. They just died a lot earlier.

But you’ve got to admit, they were pretty hardy.

Their metabolisms were different is why. But not like they were Martians or we are aliens. Their bodies were exposed to wider environments – more outdoors, hands on, getting down and dirty. They grew up with it, their bacteria growing accustomed to it, it was the norm.

Are we aliens?

Wait a minute. Their BACTERIA?

Sure, sure. In those days they never knew it, but all human bodies are full of bacteria, whole colonies growing on our skin, in our mouths – and most especially, in our gut. More than 100 trillion of them, outnumbering our own human cells 10 to 1. A human microbiota that is more microbial than human – perhaps we ARE aliens after all.

OK, so these bacteria don’t just sit there. The body outsources all kinds of functions to them – digesting food and breaking out its nutrients, powering our immune systems, providing the muscle for tissue repair.

Yeah, there’s bad guys in there too – harmful pathogens that could bring us down. Small in numbers though, and smart enough to keep quiet. One false move and the good guys will either fight them or eat them.

Note that word smart.

Adapt and survive

Exactly what bacteria are. Because these remarkable creations are able to adapt and change to new conditions faster than anything else on the planet. Twenty minutes can breed a whole new generation – with new strengths, new skills, generating advanced enzymes to meet the new challenges.

Dirt in the system? They grew up with it, recognised it, know how to deal with it. Food not properly washed or cooked? No problem – they came from a long line of heroes with cast-iron stomachs.

Yeah, they knew upsets, what gut problems were really like. Where do you think names like Montezuma’s Revenge, traveller’s dysentery, Delhi belly, or back door sprint came from? They just manned up and ignored it, the stuff of Empire-building. “No guts, no glory” was how they lived.

Our own stomachs are more sensitive – not just from different lifestyles, the food we eat is no longer the same. Take norovirus – until 1968, it didn’t exist. Named after an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis at a school in Norwalk, Ohio,  it’s now every cruise ship operator’s nightmare.

The double-edged sword

Didn’t they eat the same food back then, same as 100 years earlier? Wasn’t beef, beef – and pork, pork? We’re not SO different.

Yeah, but what about antibiotics? Our food is NOT the same.

In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, but it took till 1942 to develop it, the first patient being treated for streptococcal septicaemia. By 1950, antibiotics were motoring big time – not in medicine, but in agriculture. To bulk up animals for market – beef, lamb, pork, chicken – all the popular meat types.

Today, half the antibiotics in use world-wide are in food production – 63,151 tons in 2010, to rise by 67% in 2030.

Half a century of industrial-scale usage means that traces of antibiotics are now in all of us – directly from the food we eat, and from the recycled waste. Even vegetarians will find them in their systems.

Use and abuse

It gets worse. Because antibiotics have been overused in medicine too. The miracle cure-all, patients clamour for it for everything from minor ailments up. By the time they’re 20, the average teenager might have been prescribed with antibiotics at least 10 times.

And have you any idea what antibiotics do to the human system?

Sure, they clobber harmful bugs – if they haven’t already become resistant (we’re coming to that).

And how do they do this?

By killing bacteria.

Er… But that means us, doesn’t it? Aren’t we 90% bacteria?

Boomitsdabomb!

Yes we are. So you can imagine the effect of antibiotics in the gut with over 100 trillion bacteria all round – like a thermo-nuclear bomb.

OK, so they take out the bad guys – clobber them to nothing. But a lot of innocent bacteria get hit too. Dead or impaired, no longer able to fulfil their vital roles. Collateral damage.

Want proof?

Ever been on antibiotics and you’ve had side effects?

Stomach cramps? Vomiting? Diarrhoea? Hello, clostridium difficile.

And that’s just for starters.

Oh sure, the immediate side effects are not too bad – the medics’ perspective of course, probably not yours.

But every treatment tears into your bacteria community a little more. The bounce-back is a little less each time. A little less, a little less – you and your children and your children’s children. Fifty years of antibiotic onslaught and our microbiota are not anywhere near the same.

All change

The balance has shifted – all of a sardine we face uphill we’ve never faced before, even a generation ago. Our bacteria is different, different breeds with different behaviour, our immune systems are different, our bodies are different.

Some blame it on diet, on lifestyle, on health and fitness levels – but messing with our bacterial balance is probably more the root cause than any other.

Where does our body balance start? As we’re starting to discover, in our gut. And we’re more sensitive than we were. After fifty years of bombardment, absolutely on a hair trigger.

Why suddenly obesity – a major chunk of the population overweight? Where from Type 2 diabetes, like it’s becoming an epidemic? We’ve messed around with our bacteria – and now we’re paying the price.

But bacteria adapt remember? They change to meet all challenges. Which is why they’re becoming resistant, mutating to cope with this continual onslaught.

Clostridium difficile? Staphylococcus aureus? They’re both impervious to antibiotics without getting clever – and you can bet they’ll find a way to get round being clever too, before too long.

Back to basics – soap and water

All of which comes back to washing your hands, believe it or not.

We’re not the same as we were – our systems are different, our defences are different and our resilience is different. We can’t take chances with random bacteria like our grandparents used to – see how quickly norovirus or something strikes as soon as our hygiene gets forgetful.

And what? If you get sick, you want to take antibiotics for it?

Whoops.

Already the docs are aware so many antibiotics don’t work. And the underlying damage has been done too. So if you do get ill, there ain’t no medicine for it, you’ve just got to take your chances.

Which means don’t get ill in the first place. None of us can afford to.

But there’s still one thing we can do – and it works.

Wash your hands.

Germs, germs, all over the place – why aren’t we ill?

Not feeling well
You can’t escape germs –
but you can get rid of them

Woh, scary headlines.

Enough to make you ill by themselves.

AVERAGE WORKER COMES INTO CONTACT WITH MORE THAN 10 MILLION DISEASE-CAUSING BACTERIA

SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS HARBOUR MORE GERMS THAN TOILET SEATS 

AVERAGE PERSON CARRIES OVER 10 MILLION BACTERIA ON THEIR HANDS

Seems wherever we turn, we’re swamped by germs.

On everything we touch. On everything we eat. Even inside us – like the 100 trillion bacteria living in our gut.

OK, so because there’s germs everywhere, we’re told to wash our hands. Doing it properly with plain soap and water, rinsed and towelled off gets rid of 99.9% of germs – good.

Except then we go and touch something – the infested screen on our smartphone or whatever – and the germs come back again. Why do we bother? And why aren’t they carting us off in an ambulance, right now?

Miracle immune system

Basically, because our bodies are the amazing thing they are.

What’s the bet, until the media started with all the Wash Your Hands hoo-hah, you never thought about it much, did you? You didn’t have a problem, life was pretty normal – and the idea that your desk might have more germs than a sewer never occurred to you.

Which is why, like so many of the rest of us, washing your hands keeps slipping off the radar. Your hands LOOK clean, you don’t get sick – where’s the fire?

Uh huh. But you ARE playing with matches.

The only thing between the everyday you and being rushed to A&E is your truly miraculous immune system.

Yes, the germs on your desk DO get on your hands. They ARE transferred to your mouth (the average person touches their face 3 to 5 times every minute).  And they DO wind up in your gut.

So where’s the norovirus? The e.coli? The staphylococcus aureus? The campylobacter? Or something really deadly, like multiple sclerosis, AIDS, or cancer?

Protective bacteria

Well, among the many astounding things that they do, this where the 100 trillion bacteria in your gut come in. Aside from digesting food types we can’t do on our own, feeding our brain, and protecting us from food poisoning – they boost our immune function by outcompeting harmful pathogens.

Which comes back to the washing your hands thing.

Yes, you do swallow some bugs when you eat, that’s inevitable. But not as many as you might if you didn’t wash your hands.

So when it comes to outcompeting the bad guys down in your stomach, the odds are better than they were.

That yummy burger was zero germs when it left the grill – too hot for any to survive. Picked up a mess of e.coli though – from the print button on the photocopier. Down the hatch without you knowing – potential tummy explosion, right there.

Except your own gut bacteria ganged up against it. Gave it the treatment – like a jewel thief in some long-ago legendary bazaar. Problem sorted – and you never felt a thing.

Always under threat

Thing is though, the body is always at risk. And always on alert for surprise attacks.

Most of the time you’re OK because your immune system knows your environment. The expected germs are compensated for and everything stays normal.

Normal, that is, for you.

Except you’re not always alone, are you? There’s other people at work, at school, in the shops – or sitting at the restaurant table beside you. And what’s normal for you is not necessarily normal for them.

They might give you a bug, you might give them one. An out-of-the-ordinary pathogen your gut bacteria is not ready for. Behaves different, too big, too small, too armour-plated against the usual enzymes they produce.

Plus, chances are likely you have an underlying condition of some kind. Most of us do. Some weakness your body hasn’t been concerned with until now. An infection as a child that left one of your kidneys weak. Slight asthma from the damp conditions in your workplace. An allergy to nuts or eggs that triggers anaphylactic shock.

And now there IS a problem. Your gut is in imbalance. You should’ve washed your hands, but who does going out to a restaurant? And you got unlucky, using the salad servers at the buffet. An unusual germ for you, transferred from your fingers to the breadstick.

Again, it shouldn’t be a problem – not if your immune system is fully up and working – if your gut bacteria are fully prepared for everything that’s coming.

Antibiotic problems

Trouble is, there’s a hiccup – and it’s caused by antibiotics.

Nothing to do with you mind, you know zip about it. But, like a lot of us, you enjoy a high proportion of meat and dairy in your diet. And out in cattle farms, antibiotics are used on an industrial scale – not to make animals healthy, but to fatten them up faster.

You like milk shakes, so your own gut bacteria have been hit by antibiotics. Built up over time from your tea, coffee, breakfast cereal – and steady progression from vanilla, to chocolate, to banana, to caramel flavours.

Result? Well, you might not have a fungal infection yet – a common antibiotic side effect – but you are out of balance and your system is down. Shoulda, woulda, coulda washed your hands, shouldn’t you? Your only protection, this time round.

It CAN be easier, though not everywhere is doing it yet.

But count on it, as winter crowds us more together – and as more and more antibiotics are given out for colds, flu and all kinds of things that we strongarm our doctors for but shouldn’t – non-medical germ control is going to be on the up.

Press-button germ rescue

Right now, in your workplace, your kid’s school, public places – even trains, planes and buses – it’s possible to mist up everywhere with super-fine hydrogen peroxide spray, and oxidise ALL germs to oblivion. And that means everywhere, in the air, on surfaces – even into cracks and crevices where ordinary scrub cleaning never reaches.

The machine that does it is a Hypersteriliser – looks like a kind of electronic wheelie-bin – and all it takes is around forty minutes, depending on room size. All germs gone, completely. Kind of reassuring when you read those headlines back again.

Your desk infested with nasties and all that stuff. Overnight, gone. Totally sterile, for you and your colleagues too.

What germs, where?

Why germs only attack you SOME of the time

Carefree woman
Easy does it – most of the time germs can’t touch you

Take your eye off the ball and things go pear-shaped, right?

A momentary lapse of concentration.

Kinda how it works in your body too.

Oh oh, glitch

A momentary hiccup in your immune system and oops! That’s a nasty infection you’ve got there, better take something for it.

Momentary because your body is surrounded by teeming microbes all the time. Billions and billions of them in the air, on the ground, and on all the things you touch. So many, it’s impossible not to be in contact with them every second of your existence.

Constantly immersed – and constantly under siege.

Mostly by neutral stuff, but by good and bad too – viruses, bacteria, moulds, dust mites, fungi, spores, pollen – all successfully deflected away by the body’s fantastic immune system.

Be glad. Because inside our bodies there’s a bunch of bacteria too. Whole specialised colonies dedicated uniquely to every one of us. Outnumbering our own human body cells by 10 to 1 – or according to some scientists, even 100 to 1.

Most of these are the good guys, the gofers that do our body’s grunt work for us – processing food, digesting it, manufacturing the natural chemicals we need to do stuff – like even dopamine and serotonin, to keep the brain firing on all four.

OK so far, everything’s going fine.

The whoops moment

But life goes on – and a lot of things happen in every day. We grow up, get educated, find a job, get married or involved, go on holiday, have kids, buy a house, become famous – and life around us is usually pretty harmless.

Except now and then comes the hiccup – the glitch that triggers an immune system alert. Germs like MRSA, transferred from someone else – by touch, or through a cut, or from something we carelessly pick up with unwashed hands.

Even then, we usually pretty safe. Immune systems can cope with MRSA and most other pathogens that life throws at us – sometimes unaware that anything’s happened.

As long as we’re OK, of course. Not vulnerable from some underlying medical condition, impairment of our immune capabilities, or reduction of the bacteria we would normally use to inhibit the bad guys having a go at our bodies.

You see our soft spot, don’t you? Our Achilles’ heel, the one everyday drawback in our defences?

Right, first time. Just about everything in our existence we touch with our hands. Things around us, things we use, things we eat – our hands handle the whole lot. And whatever’s on our hands touches our face – 2,000 to 3,000 times a day.

Which means germs through our eyes, in our nose, or down our mouths – unless we’ve washed our hands. The good guys, yes – the harmless guys too.

And the bad guys who want to take us out – typhoid, cholera, Ebola, e.coli, norovirus – there’s a billion billion pathogens out there only too happy to make us dead.

Under attack

Forget to wash your hands and the germs will go at you for sure. Not just something you picked up, but infection by negligence. You caused it, not accident. You didn’t look after your body – and falling ill is how you pay for it.

Yes, that’s harsh – but unfortunately true. People who keep their hands clean don’t get sick. Not usually.

But being unlucky happens too – particularly since we all live together most of the time – sharing the same space, working, relaxing, eating and drinking.

And while WE might be OK, others might not be. Their germ-clouds are not all safe, there’s bad guys in there. We could breathe them in, absorb them by touch, or swallow them without knowing.

Which is why “wash your hands” applies to the environment we live in too – the indoor lifestyle we’ve always stuck to, ever since caveman days.

Overkill defence

To some people that means go at everything with bleach. Scrub down every surface, kill the germs with stuff so potent it takes the roof of your head off. Not good if you’re asthmatic, or even just sensitive. And who can live with the howling headache?

It’s not good enough either. Because though it gets rid of germs on tables and things, it does nothing to the rest – so tiny and light, they’re suspended in the air. Untouched and hovering in 80% of the room space, no wonder coughs and sneezes go round a place so quickly – schoolrooms, offices, restaurants, cinemas, hospitals – wherever there’s people gathered together.

The safe way

Only one sure way to get rid of them – use a Hypersteriliser. Like washing hands for the total room space, only a lot more effective. Eliminating ALL viruses and bacteria by oxidising them in an ionised mist of hydrogen peroxide.

Germ neutral, totally sterile. You and your body’s own bacteria cloud are totally safe.

Until of course, somebody walks in trailing something else to have a go at you.

But you’ll wash your hands of that, won’t you?

It’s the holiday season now. Happy, happy!

And keep well.